When out shopping at the local grocery store, it may seem both enticing and expensive to grab foods labeled as organic. With all of the pesticides, genetic alterations, and other changes that are made to meat and produce, it can be tempting to go a more eco-friendly route. But is it actually healthier?

What Constitutes Food as Organic?

Organic foods are made without preservatives, genetic engineering, synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, preservatives or sewage sludge. Because these foods are created in such a way, they serve as a more eco-friendly alternative to non-organic alternatives and they help prevent the possibility of pesticides being introduced into your body.

Do Pesticides Affect the Human Body?

organic food, cow eating grass.Pesticides are present on many forms of productionand it is recommended that fruits and vegetables be rinsed with water before being eaten. There are no long-term studies that show negative impacts of pesticides in regard to human health, but it is still good to be mindful of how much you put into your body.

Pesticides have the potential to cause problems during pregnancy and in children. Pesticides can cause problems such as attention and learning disorders, low birth weight, abnormalities in the brain and the nervous system development, and more. Read more about pesticides and children by clicking here.

The Dirty Dozen: Most and Least Contaminated Fruits and Vegetables

When it comes to eating produce, there some fruits and vegetables higher in pesticide residue than others. Here,

in no particular order, are the 12 most and least contaminated options out there.

Most Contaminated

organic food, mixed produce

  • Peaches
  • Celery
  • Lettuce
  • Nectarines
  • Strawberries
  • Cherries
  • Potatoes
  • Bell Peppers
  • Pears
  • Apples
  • Imported Grapes
  • Spinach

Least Contaminated

  • Onions
  • Avocado
  • Broccoli
  • Frozen Sweet Peas
  • Frozen Sweet Corn
  • Pineapples
  • Mango
  • Papaya
  • Asparagus
  • Mango
  • Asparagus
  • Bananas
  • Kiwi

Is Organic Meat Better and Safer for You?

Ultimately, there is an equal amount of potential risk to one’s health in eating organic or conventional meat. With conventional meat, there are pesticides and antibiotic-resistant bacteria which can prove harmful to your body. However, organic meat can be more prone to becoming contaminated, likely due to antibiotics not being used. So in terms of your health, both organic and conventional meat present roughly the same amount of risk.

Weighing Out Options

Ultimately, it is not necessary to completely go organic, but it can not hurt to implement some organic options into your diet. Organic foods can get quite expensive, costing as much as double the price of their non-organic counterparts. For this reason, it can be good to add in organic foods here and there, but not to make them your only source of nutrition.

A good way to handle your diet is to implement plenty servings of the appropriate fruits and vegetables, limit intake of red meat, and rinse your produce before it is consumed.

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Resources:

https://www.organic.org/articles/showarticle/article-214