Organic foods are a hot item in the
grocery store right now. But what
exactly are organic foods? Are they
healthier for me when compared to non-organic foods? Are they safer?
The word “organic” refers to the way a farmer grows and processes his products;
it has little to do with the nutritional content of the food. For example, an organic apple vs a non-organic
apple has the same amount of calories, vitamins and minerals. The government sets certain regulations
that companies must meet to use the term “Organic” on its label. Foods with the
label “Organic” must be at least 95% organic. This means that products must be grown in safe soil; farmers
can not use synthetic pesticides, bioengineered genes, petroleum-based fertilizers,
or sewage sludge-based fertilizers.
Food labeled “Made with Organic Ingredients” must have at least 70% of
ingredients organic, and anything lower than 70% can not use the term organic
when advertising. So why not just
buy organic? Well, organic products are much more expensive when compared to
its counterpart. So the question
is to buy or not to buy organic?
Is it worth the extra money?
Here is a tip to help you sort it
out. The list below includes the
fruits and vegetables with the highest pesticide content. It is best to buy these organic:
These fruits and vegetables have
the lowest pesticide count, and are safe to buy non-organic:
Estelle L. Benoit, RD, LDN