Organic Foods Worth Buying
Do you need to buy organic all the time? There’s a difference between organic and conventionally grown foods when it comes to nutrition, safety and price. The organic food aisle can be difficult to navigate – not to mention, costly – but there are a few organic and pesticide-free products that are certainly worth the investment.
What does organic mean?
Organically grown food is produced using farming systems that don’t use synthetic pesticides or genetic modification. People buy organically-grown foods for a number of reasons including concerns about pesticides, additives, antibiotics and other chemical residues.
Eggs and Chicken
It’s believed that free range and organic chickens have a more varied diet which produces a deep orange coloured yolk – although, studies have shown they do not have a significantly higher nutritional profile. Organically farmed chickens and eggs have to comply with certain guidelines that indicate the chickens be fed with certified organic feed; are not given any growth hormones; and have an outdoor density restriction so they’re not cramped together. Free-range chicken and eggs come a close second to organic.
Berries are a fantastic group of superfoods, however some reports show they can retain pesticide residue, mainly due to their porous and textured skin. Washing them thoroughly should remove most residues, but going organic is best to avoid pesticide exposure. If fresh berries will break the budget, choose frozen organic berries.
Unfortunately apples are one of the most highly sprayed crops due to the pesticide spraying process which involves coating both the leaves and the fruit. But don’t let that scare you off, apples are an incredibly healthy snack and rich in important antioxidants and dietary fibre.
Kale is rich in antioxidants, essential vitamins and minerals, however according to the Environmental Working Group report, conventionally grown kale has been shown to be contaminated with concentrations of organophospahte insecticides. These insecticides have been linked to developmental effects such as behavioural problems and lower cognitive function. Choose organic kale whenever possible or wash thoroughly before eating.
Organic dried fruit is free of sulphites – a type of preservative used in some foods, drinks and occasionally medication. Excessive amounts has been linked to allergies like asthma. Where possible, choose sulphite-free or organic dried fruit.
Whether you choose organic or not, the most important thing is that you’re consuming a large variety of plant-based foods to support a healthy diet. When it comes to fresh produce, choose the best you can afford; always wash fruit and veggies before eating; and aim for local, sustainable produce.