Choosing Organic Foods

When choosing an organic product, be sure to look for the USDA Certified Organic seal on the label. This certification shows that the product was grown/prepared without the use of pesticides, hormones, or antibiotics. Research continues to progress to relay a more current and accurate picture of the environmental and consumer impact of these issues. However, there are various health risks which may be associated with pesticide exposure and consumption including, but not limited to, cancer, nervous system disorders, thyroid dysfunction, and reproductive disorders.

Organic foods can be a bit more costly than their non-organic counterparts. However, being healthy is typically less costly than being sick and taking steps to improve your diet is well worth the investment. Another way to curb the impact on your budget while making improvements is to focus on switching to organic options for foods that you consume regularly. For example, if you eat an apple every day or several times weekly, make that an organic choice. Additionally, keep in mind that some produce is typically grown or processed with more chemicals than others. These are often referred to as the dirty dozen. Consider the dirty dozen list below on your trip to the produce aisle:

  1. celery
  2. peaches
  3. strawberries
  4. apples
  5. domestic blueberries
  6. nectarines
  7. sweet bell peppers
  8. spinach, kale and collard greens
  9. cherries
  10. potatoes
  11. imported grapes
  12. lettuce (not cabbage)

Alternatively, check out the Clean 15 which are grown with relatively lower amounts of pesticides:

  1. Onions
  2. Avocados
  3. Sweet corn
  4. Pineapples
  5. Mango
  6. Sweet peas
  7. Asparagus
  8. Kiwi fruit
  9. Cabbage
  10. Eggplant
  11. Cantaloupe
  12. Watermelon
  13. Grapefruit
  14. Sweet potatoes
  15. Sweet onions