We are often asked… is it really that important to buy organic produce?
Many people do not buy organic because the price is usually somewhat higher. However, studies have shown that organically grown produce is far less likely to have damaging pesticides on it. On the other hand, most conventionally grown produce contains high levels of pesticide residue. Some of these pesticides have been linked to infertility, birth defects, hormone imbalances and neurological disorders. For example, the insecticide chlorpyrifos, which may harm children’s brains and nervous systems, is commonly applied to:
- bell peppers
- other produce
Many pediatricians and physicians recommend consulting The Environmental Working Group’s (EWG’s) annual Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce. 2018’s summary includes the following statements:
“The USDA tests found a total of 230 different pesticides and pesticide breakdown products on the thousands of produce samples analyzed. EWG’s analysis of the tests shows that there are stark differences among various types of produce. The Shopper’s Guide lists the Dirty Dozen™ fruits and vegetables with the most pesticide residues, and the Clean Fifteen™, for which few, if any, residues were detected.”
The Shopper’s Guide lists each of the 12 foods in the Dirty Dozen and the pesticide levels found on the conventionally grown produce of each type. It is highly recommended that anything on the Dirty Dozen list be purchased in an organic version. These can be a little more expensive, but you are investing that extra money into the overall health of you and your family.