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The 3 W’s of Organics

February 22, 2010

Accept my apology…I realized I jumped the gun by sharing the details of my organic delivery without covering the basics of organic food.  I touched on the “where” (to buy organics) but neglected the What, Why and When.  Let me take care of that now.

WHAT does “Organic” mean?

Organic food is derived from plants and animals and has been produced naturally; it’s free of synthetic fertilizers, artificial pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics, growth hormones, feed additives or genetically modified organisms (GMOs).  In other words, they use sustainable, earth-friendly farming practices. 

Believe it or not, most of the food we eat has been altered or come into contact with one or more of the above.  The meat we consume is no longer raised on green pastures.  They are instead raised in confined spaces, fed foreign products such as animal bi-products and corn (FYI – cow’s are not genetically built to consume or digest corn…or waste materials).  They are also injected with antibiotics to suppress the resulting ailments (from ingesting those foreign products and being inactive). Anyhow, I digress…I’ll leave the details for another time. 

In a few words, eating organic means eating the foods that were raised, fed, grown as nature intended

WHEN to buy organic?

I pick my battles when it comes to eating organic, because it can be both cumbersome and costly to buy.  That’s where I turn to the trusty “Dirty Dozen” – a list identifying the 12 worst fruits and veggies, and the 15 least contaminated foods.  The EWG developed this guide by testing 47 fruits and vegetables for pesticides.  Grab the quick reference card and take it with you on your next trip to the grocery store.  You can also see where all your favourite foods fall on the full list.

WHY to buy organic?

This question is partially addressed in the “What” but here’s my rationale for spending an extra hard-earned dollar on that organically grown apple.   Pesticides are inherently toxic – they are designed to kill living organisms such as insects, plants, and fungi.  So as you would expect, pesticides also pose risks to the health of human beings.

In addition to the environmental impact of conventionally grown/raised food, there are also a variety of health issues associated with non-organic foods.  According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) “eating the 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables will expose a person to about 10 pesticides per day. Eating the 15 least contaminated foods will expose a person to less than 2 pesticides per day.”  I don’t know about you, but I’m sold based on this alone.

You know what they say…an organic apple a day will keep the doctor away.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. MickR permalink
    March 5, 2010 9:09 am

    Dirty Dozen – wow thanks that is a nice little tip, and 2-3 of those on the list are daily staples of mine for sure.

  2. Stevedave permalink
    March 2, 2010 12:29 pm

    I notice beef/chicken is not on the dirty dozen. What’s up with that? I thought that was supposed to be the worst.

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