About Me

My photo
I homeschool and have a health ministry for friends, family, and health lovers world-wide. I'm totally into all-natural and avoid chemicals, food additives, etc. even in my cosmetics. I am working toward eating Vegan, Organic, and raw as much as possible (my family too). I'm married, and have two small kids and two grown step kids. Optimal Health - God's Way ".....and the fruit thereof shall be for meat (FOOD), and the leaf for MEDICINE." Ezekiel 47:12 KJV

Friday, July 23, 2010

Buying Organic - Is it necessary?

Buying Organic - Part 1

Publications as varied as the Wall Street Journal, in its 2007 When Buying Organic Makes Sense and When It Doesn't, and Consumers Union, in its 2006 Tips on Buying Organics Without Breaking the Bank, recommend seeking out organic meats when possible.

• Milk. Pesticides and other man-made chemicals have been found in human breast milk, so it should come as no surprise that they have been found in dairy products. While any residues detected have been rare, and of low concentration, milk is of special concern because it is a staple of children's diets. Organic dairies cannot feed their cows with grains grown with pesticides, nor can they use antibiotics or growth hormones like rGBH or rbST.

• Coffee. Many of the beans you buy are grown in countries that don't regulate use of chemicals and pesticides. Look for the Fair Trade Certified Organic label on the coffee package or can; it will give you some assurance that chemicals and pesticides were not used on the plants. It will also mean that fair prices were paid for the end product in support of the farm and that farm workers are treated fairly.

• Peaches. Multiple pesticides are regularly applied to these delicately skinned fruits in conventional orchards. Can't find organic? Safe alternatives: watermelon, tangerines, oranges and grapefruit.

• Apples. Scrubbing and peeling doesn't eliminate chemical residue completely so it's best to buy organic when it comes to apples. Peeling a fruit or vegetable also strips away many of their beneficial nutrients. Can't find organic? Safe alternatives: watermelon, bananas and tangerines.

• Sweet bell peppers. Peppers have thin skins that don't offer much of a barrier to pesticides. They're often heavily sprayed and victim to pesticides commonly used to keep them insect-free. Can't find organic? Safe alternatives: green peas, broccoli and cabbage.
• Celery. Celery has no protective skin, which makes it almost impossible to wash off the chemicals that are used on conventional crops. Can't find organic? Safe alternatives: broccoli, radishes and onions.

• Strawberries. If you buy strawberries out of season, they're most likely imported from countries that use less-stringent regulations for pesticide use. Can't find organic? Safe alternatives: blueberries, kiwi and pineapples.

• Lettuces. Leafy greens are frequently contaminated with what are considered the most potent pesticides used on food. Can't find organic? Safe alternatives: cabbage, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts.

• Grapes. Imported grapes run a much greater risk of contamination than those grown domestically. Vineyards can be sprayed with different pesticides during different growth periods of the grape, and no amount of washing or peeling will eliminate contamination because of the grape's thin skin. Can't find organic? Safe alternatives: blueberries, kiwi and raspberries.

• Potatoes. America's popular spud ranks high for pesticide residue. It also gets the double whammy of fungicides added to the soil for growing. Can't find organic? Safe alternatives: eggplant, cabbage and earthy mushrooms.

• Tomatoes. A tomato's easily punctured skin is no match for chemicals that will eventually permeate it. Can't find organic? Safe alternatives: green peas, broccoli and asparagus.



Buying Organic - Part 2

WASHINGTON - If you're concerned about food safety, you probably already look for organic produce at the supermarket. But if you can't always buy organic, you can still dramatically lower your family's exposure to chemical pesticides by choosing the least pesticide-contaminated fruits and vegetables with the Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce. http://www.foodnews.org/

The Shopper's Guide is a handy, wallet-size card that lists the "Dirty Dozen" most contaminated fruits and vegetables, as well as the 12 most "Consistently Clean" items. It's available for free download at www.foodnews.org. The newest edition of the Guide comes in both English and Spanish versions for the first time.

Buying Organic
The Shopper's Guide was developed by Environmental Working Group (EWG), based on the results of nearly 43,000 tests for pesticides on produce by the Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration between 2000 and 2004. EWG's computer analysis found that consumers could cut their pesticide exposure by almost 90 percent by avoiding the most contaminated fruits and vegetables and eating the least contaminated instead.

Eating the 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables will expose a person to about 15 pesticides a day, on average. Eating the 12 least contaminated will expose a person to fewer than 2 pesticides a day.
"Federal produce tests tell us that some fruits and vegetables are so likely to be contaminated with pesticides that you should always buy them organic," said Richard Wiles, EWG's senior vice president. "Others are so consistently clean that you can eat them with less concern. With The Shopper's Guide in your pocket, it's easy to tell which is which."

EWG's analysis of federal testing data found:

* Peaches and apples topped the "Dirty Dozen" list. Almost 97 percent of peaches tested positive for pesticides, and almost 87 percent had two or more pesticide residues. About 92 percent of apples tested positive, and 79 percent had two or more pesticides. The rest of the "Dirty Dozen" include sweet bell peppers, celery, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, pears, imported grapes, spinach, lettuce, and potatoes.

* Onions, avocados, and sweet corn headed the "Consistently Clean" list. For all three foods, more than 90 percent of the samples tested had no detectable pesticide residues. Others on the "Consistently Clean" list include pineapples, mango, asparagus, sweet peas, kiwi, bananas, cabbage, broccoli, and papaya.

There is growing scientific consensus that small doses of pesticides can adversely affect people, especially during vulnerable periods of fetal development and childhood when exposures can have long lasting effects. Because the toxic effects of pesticides are worrisome, not well understood, or in some cases completely unstudied, shoppers are wise to minimize exposure to pesticides whenever possible.

While washing and rinsing fresh produce can reduce levels of some pesticides, it does not eliminate them. Peeling also reduces exposures, but valuable nutrients often go down the drain with the peel. The best option is to eat a varied diet, wash all produce, and choose organic when possible to reduce exposure to potentially harmful chemicals.

Although The Shopper's Guide only measures pesticide residues on produce, buying organic also makes sense if you're concerned about bacterial contamination. Organic farmers meet all the sanitation standards required of conventional growers and, on top of that, meet tight restrictions on the use of compost and other organic material that do not apply to conventional fruit and vegetable growers.

Sources:
The Environmental Working Group is a nonprofit research organization based in Washington, DC that uses the power of information to protect human health and the environment. Go to http://www.ewg.org/ to read the Group's research on food safety.

No comments:

Post a Comment