The best organic foods you should buy
In a perfect world, you would eat everything organic. The more you eat organic food, the less you ingest of summary chemicals, namely pesticides, which by their very definition are designed to kill other living things. And although we are not weeds or insects that feed on crops, we To do eat the products that end up being sprayed with the substance.
This is a big deal, since research has linked the ingestion of pesticides to ADHD in children, a low sperm count in healthy young men, and fertility problems, but more research needs to be done to fully understand these links.
Since various types of pesticides can be found in your food, you might be ingesting a cocktail of chemicals. These mixtures can increase your risk for gene mutation and stop your body’s ability to repair damaged DNA, which has been linked to an increased risk of cancer, according to one. report from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Going organic won’t completely eliminate your exposure to these chemicals, but depending on the foods you choose, it can help. For example, a large meta-analysis of Stanford University Medical Center found that organic fruits and vegetables did not really differ in nutritional quality from conventional products, but had a 30 percent lower risk of pesticide contamination.
The problem? Organic food is expensive. Knowing which foods to splurge on can get tricky, but a good rule of thumb is to look for products that are more likely to contain pesticide residues, says Gary Adamkiewicz, assistant professor of environmental health and exposure disparities. Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, which means a lot of products should be high on your list.
When browsing the grocery store, keep the following foods in mind if you want to go organic. They won’t be hard to find – look for the âUSDA Organicâ sticker.
STRAWBERRIES, SPINACH AND NECTARINES
A good place to start, according to Adamkiewicz, is the Environmental Working Group (EWG) list of products categorized by the number of pesticides they contain, classified as Dirty dozen and the Fifteen clean. The EWG compiles these lists annually based on 36,000 product samples collected by the Food and Drug Administration and the US Department of Agriculture. Samples are taken when food is typically eaten, so after it has been washed and, in some cases, peeled.
Strawberries rank number 1 on EWG’s most recent list of Dirty Dozen because they contained the most pesticide residue. More than 98% of the strawberry samples contained pesticide residues, and a single strawberry sample showed 20 different pesticides, according to the EWG.
Spinach came in second, as these samples contained, on average, twice as many pesticide residues as any other crop. Nectarines follow in third place, 98 percent of which had pesticide residues.
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APPLES, PEACHES, PEARS, CHERRIES AND GRAPES
Apples rank fourth on the EWG’s Dirty Dozen list. Their thin skin is the culprit here, says Rachel Roberts, RD, a dietitian with Detroit Medical Center’s Your New Self Weight Loss Solutions program.
âThe rule of thumb is to choose organic, thin-skinned fruits and vegetables, like apples, strawberries, and celery, and non-organic, thick-skinned vegetables, like pineapples and melons,â she says.
That’s why peaches, pears, cherries, and grapes are also on the Dirty Dozen list. These are thin-skinned fruits that you might not hesitate to bite into.
Related: 3 organic meal recipes that are incredibly delicious
CELERY, TOMATOES, POTATOES, PEPPERS AND HOT PEPPERS
These pantry staples also have thin skin, which means they don’t have as much of a protective barrier against pesticides, says Roberts.
Peeling food can help, but that may not remove all the pesticides on your produce, according to Consumer Reports. Some pesticides are actually taken up by the roots of the plant, which means they could end up in the flesh of your food. In addition, the skin is loaded with beneficial nutrients.
A good wash (with a vegetable brush like this) is always encouraged, even if you buy organic.
Related: The 30 Best Foods Every Man Should Have on His Grocery List
If you buy peanut butter with only one or two ingredients (hint: they should just be peanuts and salt), then it’s a pretty healthy source of fat when you control your serving size.
But Roberts says to go organic for an even better option. âPeanut butter has to be purchased organically to avoid pesticides, which permeate the thin outer shells of peanuts,â she says. “Non-organic peanut butters can be high in pesticides or fungi and often use fats, sugar, and sometimes hydrogenated oils to increase shelf life.” Discover this creamy, lightly roasted variety of Santa Cruz.
Related: These peanut butter protein bombs will make your muscles grow
Aside from fruits and vegetables, Adamkiewicz says there isn’t as much evidence for pesticides in meat and dairy products. While he personally enjoys spending his money on organic milk, it’s not as necessary for consumers as the Dirty Dozen.
Yet the USDA Requirements for Organic Meat require livestock not to receive hormones or antibiotics, to be raised in conditions that mimic their natural behaviors (such as being able to graze on a pasture) and to be fed 100 percent organic food .
âOrganic farming makes a lot of sense for the environment and for health. This extends to foods of animal origin, although we don’t have a lot of studies that show differences in chemical residues between organic and conventional milk in particular, âsays Adamkiewicz.
Roberts recommends choosing organic poultry, like chicken and turkey, if you have the extra cash to prepare. We like it Perdue Harvestland Organic Chicken Breast, and these Organic Prairie Roasted Turkey Breast Slices.
Related: 50 Simple and Delicious Ways to Cook Chicken Breast
The same USDA standards for cattle apply to pork.
âOrganic poultry and pigs are fed feed that is free of synthetic pesticides and chemical fertilizers, which helps improve animal health and reduce environmental impact,â says Roberts.
She adds: âNon-organic meats differ in the amount of antibiotics used during production. Overuse of antibiotics in conventional meat can lead to an increase in bacterial infections resistant to treatment in humans.
Pork skewers with fresh herb sauce:
Grass-fed beef has more omega-3 fatty acids than grain-fed beef because grass naturally contains more omega-3s, which are great for your heart and brain health.
âThe fatty acid composition of organic animal products is much better; omega-3 fatty acid levels [in organic beef] are about 50% higher, which is beneficial in reducing the risk of heart disease, âsays Roberts, potentially because they can help fight inflammation in your body.
It is also raised without hormones or antibiotics. Check it out Organic Prairie Grass-Fed Beef.
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