Organic vs non-organic: the challenge of eating food as nature intended
Updated: Oct 3
Do you feel like eating
organic food is a challenge nowadays?
Growing up in a small village with my father nurturing his garden, eating fruits and vegetables free from chemicals and pesticides was never a problem. From golden potatoes to juicy peaches, green salad full of chlorophyll and so on, I took everything for granted. It was only when I moved to London that I realised how lucky I was back then eating organic food without being aware of this goodness.
Eating organic products is generally more expensive than consuming conventional foods and the major reason is that organic farms are usually smaller than ordinary ones and also crops take more time to be produced because they don’t receive the chemicals and growth hormones used by general farmers. I believe, eating organic food is an important issue as this means having your food as it should be eaten, without the nasty top-ups.
Having visited different supermarkets I noticed that most of the time the price difference between organic food and conventional produce is not major for some vegetables and fruits. Places like Wholefoods are great as you can get a big pack of organic carrots or kale for a pounds. Also, high street chains are extending their organic range making it more accessible to a wider number of people.
Do I eat organic?
If you are wondering whether I eat organic or not, the answer is I don’t. I eat a lot of vegetables and fruits (5+2 a day) and I admit it can be costly to go fully organic. What about going organic partially? This does not mean eating pesticide and chemical-free foods every now and again but instead thinking in terms of produce that have grown receiving the least of them. Don’t panic, you are not going to spend endless nights searching on the topic.
Fortunately, the EWG (Environmental Working Group) did the work for you, publishing a SHOPPERS GUIDE TO PESTICIDES IN PRODUCE which is updated every year. The guide features 48 popular fruits and vegetables which have the highest ranking in pesticide contamination and therefore the ones you should clearly avoid. The guide is tested by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration and more than 35,200 samples of produce are tested once the foods have not prepared to be eaten. This includes washing and/or peeling.
If you cannot afford to go fully organic I suggest you have a look at the EWG list called The dirty dozens which is based on the US market but it is widely referred to in the UK as a useful guide.
Here below is the link to it.
The top 3 dirtiest fruits and vegetable are strawberries, spinach and nectarines. Ouch, would you think twice before mix and match your spinach and strawberries in your morning smoothie? While it is vital to eat fresh fruits and vegetables not to miss out important vitamins and minerals and fibre, following the list published by the EWG and buying the “dirty produce” organic is a great way to get around the issue.
Also if you eat meat, reducing the intake of conventional animal produce and buying it from your local organic farm is a smart step to take. Sustainable farms use fewer antibiotics and only if necessary and usually, the finished product has a higher concentration of omega-3 fatty acids.
Did you know?
Did you know that your beloved tea is left with pesticides on which pass onto your warm cuppa? Or have you ever wonder why some people are so keen on buying organic wine? The answer is simple and straightforward. It reduces the chance to have a banging headache in the morning after your partying as it contains less sulfur dioxide, is the most widely used and controversial additive in winemaking.