Should I Eat Organic Food ?

Your Guide

WHAT IS ORGANIC FOOD?

Organic food is  produced by methods that comply with the standards of organic farming. Standards vary worldwide, but organic farming features practices that cycle resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. Organizations regulating organic products may restrict the use of certain pesticides and  fertilizers in the farming methods used to produce such products. Organic foods typically are not processed using  irradiation, industrial solvents, or synthetic  food additives.

Organic food is believed to be safer, more nutritious, and better tasting than conventional food but there is no good evidence that organic food tastes better than its non-organic counterpart. The most important reason for purchasing organic foods is the beliefs about the products’ health-giving properties and higher nutritional value.

Nutrients found in Organic food

Organic food contains:

  1. Vitamin C
  2. Calcium
  3. Potassium
  4. Total soluble solids
  5. Copper
  6. Iron
  7. Nitrates
  8. Manganese
  9. Sodium 

A 2009 systematic review showed a lower nitrogen and higher phosphorus content in organic food. The amount of nitrogen content in certain vegetables, especially green  leafy vegetables and tubers has been found to be lower when grown organically.

In the United States, there are four different levels or categories for organic labeling.

  1. ‘100%’ Organic: This means that all ingredients are produced organically. It also may have the USDA seal.
  2. ‘Organic’: At least 95% or more of the ingredients are organic.
  3. ’Made With Organic Ingredients’: Contains at least 70% organic ingredients.
  4. ‘Less Than 70% Organic Ingredients’: Three of the organic ingredients must be listed under the ingredient section of the label. In the U.S., the food label “natural” or “all natural” does not mean that the food was produced and processed organically.

Foods claiming to be organic must be free of artificial food additives, and are often processed with fewer artificial methods, materials and conditions, such as chemical ripening, food irradiation and  genetically modified ingredients. Pesticides are allowed as long as they are not synthetic.

Demand for organic food

Global sales for organic foods climbed by more than 170 percent since 2002 reaching more than $63 billion in 2011. Organic products typically cost 10 to 40% more than similar conventionally produced products, to several times the price. Processed organic foods vary in price when compared to their conventional counterparts.

While organic food accounts for about 1% of total food production worldwide, the organic food sales market is growing rapidly with between 5 and 10 percent of the food market share in the United States according to the Organic Trade Association, significantly outpacing sales growth volume in dollars of conventional food products. World organic food sales jumped from US $23 billion in 2002 to $63 billion in 2011.

Low-Carbohydrates “Dirty Dozen List” Of Organic Produce

The mission of the Environmental Working Group (EWG) is “to empower people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment.” Based on their ongoing research, they provide an annual list of the 12 fruits and vegetables with the highest pesticide residues, known as the  “Dirty Dozen.”

Try to make organic selections of these foods whenever possible in order to reduce your exposure to pesticides.

  1. Strawberries
  2. Spinach
  3. Kale
  4. Nectarines
  5.  Apples
  6. Grapes
  7. Peaches
  8. Cherries
  9.  Pears
  10. Tomatoes
  11. Celery
  12. Potatoes
  13. Hot Peppers

Low-Carbohydrates “Clean 15 List” To Choose From

Here are the low-carbohydrate friendly options from the  “Clean 15”: created by EWG. A list of fruits and vegetables that have been found to have extremely low levels of pesticide residues.

  1. Avocados
  2. Sweet Corn
  3. Pineapple
  4. Onions
  5. Papaya
  6. Sweet Peas Frozen
  7. Eggplant
  8. Asparagus
  9. Cauliflower
  10. Cantaloupe
  11. Broccoli
  12. Mushrooms
  13. Cabbage
  14. Honeydew Melon
  15.  Kiwi

Not everyone can afford organic food If you can’t afford organic, buy fruits and vegetables that are low in pesticide residues.

Always remember to wash your fruits and vegetables in salt water to reduce significant amount of pesticide residues in them.

Lilian Mike

Author & Founder Healthfitness102

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