Which foods should you ALWAYS buy organic?

Photo by Smitten with Kittens | flickr.com

Committing to buying only organic products is a fantastic way to not only increase your health through limiting the amount of chemicals and toxins you ingest, but also an incredible way to maintain the earth’s health, as organic farming increases soil carbon storage, limits water pollution, and honours species diversity. However, buying organic is comparatively expensive, and as students, many of us may find it difficult to afford to be environmentally and health conscious with our food purchases. So, I thought it would be beneficial to outline which top foods you should ALWAYS go organic with, and a couple that you can safely purchase that are non-organic to save on the grocery bill.

The first food products that you should always go organic with, are beef and chicken products. If you’re a meat lover, and buying non organic meats, you’re not only eating animals that were raised in concentration camp style concentrated animal feed operations (CAFOs), but also animals that have been fed things they really shouldn’t be eating, like GM corn and soy instead of grass,  grains and hay. Also, cows and chickens are regularly injected with low levels of antibiotics over the course of their life span, to decrease the likelihood of disease spread in their crammed living conditions, consuming these animals has been linked to decreased effectiveness of antibiotics in humans, a development which poses incredible public health risks. So, if you want to avoid GMOs, hormones, and antibiotics, please go organic if you choose to eat meat.

Second, if you’re a dairy and egg consumer, it is absolutely essential that you make the switch to organics, due to the some of the same reasons listed above for meat products. Organic dairy products are free of unwanted traces of GMOs, antibiotics and hormones, and organic eggs are ensure that the chicken has never eaten anything that wasn’t organic grain, and also have no traces of arsenic, which is regularly fed to chemically farmed chickens to reduce the likelihood of disease spread.

Third, you should choose organic in your grains, especially any products containing wheat, corn and oats. Corn products are especially essential to go organic with, as they are the most likely to contain unsafe doses of organic phosphate residue.

Fourth, always go organic with ketchup! Random I know, but I’ve seen how much of the stuff people consume, for some it may be considered an individual food group (this is not good!). Organic brands contain more than 50 percent more antioxidants, and usually less sugar and unwanted additives.

Fifth, always go organic with peanut butter. Chemically farmed peanuts are laced with fungicide, as peanuts are an extremely mouldy nut. Much like ketchup, university students eat a LOT of peanut butter, so it’s so important to choose organic on a product you consume so regularly. For those who are nut intolerant, look up an organic sun flower seed spread, it tastes similar and is totally nut free!

Finally, always go organic on potatoes, apples, and especially strawberries. The top three pesticide bearing produce products on the market.

Some suggestions for products you don’t absolutely need to go organic with, are avocados (yum), kiwi, mango, eggplant, and broccoli, due to the limited use of pesticides and limited pesticide absorption during the growing process.

For more info on how to shop, cook and eat in a way that protects your health and the health of the environment, please check out my website www.peacethroughhealth.ca for recipes, news, and much more.


Happy eating!