To some, food is like a religion, with people adamantly arguing on one side or the other. The "low carb" people vs. the "low fat" people. The "organic" vs "conventional." It seems as if there’s no room for balance. It’s good or evil. Black or white. There is no gray. No middle ground.
We look around to see if people are "on our side" — make sure others support us (social proof is often more important than scientific proof). Pick your sides, join forces with your "people" and stand behind what you believe.
But here’s the question. Why isn’t there a "gray" area? Does it have to be black and white? Case in point.
Organic Foods. Always "supreme" and worth the extra cost?
This picture is one I captured on a recent trip to Canada. Organic fries. Really?
Do we really think that is the issue with fries? That they’re not organic… it has NOTHING to do with the trans fat or loads of sodium. Of course, it’s how the potatoes were grown.
So maybe there is a gray.
Just because it’s organic, certainly doesn’t make it better. Organic junk is still junk!
Here’s our take on the topic as a whole. While some will debate that studies show organic foods have MORE nutrients than conventionally grown foods, there’s certainly not a definite conclusion on this front.
Sure, some studies DO support that. Others do not.
But there is more to it than just the nutrients. Organically grown foods use LESS pesticides. While we don’t really know how this affects our bodies in years to come, it certainly makes sense that the less of those we can have in our bodies, the better.
Plenty of data does show that farmers who work on or near farms that use a lot of pesticides have higher rates of certain diseases. The other side of this "argument" is that these are extreme cases, where most people eating the conventional fruit/veggies aren’t getting nearly the dose.
At the end of the day, though, the less we can have overall, the better.
Let’s consider some other points, though.
Data suggests adults eat around 2 servings of vegetables TOTAL per day.
We’ve had people say to us “I can’t afford organic produce, so I can’t eat more than I’m already eating each day.”
But our goal is to first get people to eat MORE produce, whether organic or not.
Conventionally grown produce is certainly better than NO produce. Similarly, maybe outside of the organic vs. conventional debate — we prefer local over organic.
A conventionally grown apple picked the day you eat it is certainly going to have a lot more nutrients than an organic one that has been flown 3000+ miles to get to your grocery store weeks after it was picked.
Take Home Points.
Eat MORE veggies and fruits.
Eat MORE local veggies and fruits
If you’re picking and choosing what foods to buy organic, use the list below.
The list of 12 fruits and veggies below are the list of the *most* contaminated … it’s published by the Environmental Working Group and is called it the “Dirty Dozen”
Very simply, if you’re going to spend more on organic foods, you should focus on THESE 12 that are most commonly contaminated (they are in order from highest to lowest, but they suggest buying organic for any 1 of these 12)
1. Peaches (most contaminated)
3. Sweet bell peppers
10. Grapes (imported)