Many people wonder if organic foods are really worth the extra money that they cost. There are some fruits and vegetables that it really isn’t necessary to buy organic, but there are others that truly are essential for your health if you are concerned about pesticides. Below we will discuss which ones are safe to buy without the organic label and which ones aren’t. As well as try to give you a basic understanding of just what organic really means.
What You Need To Know
The first thing to know about buying organic foods so you don’t over pay for a product you thought was completely organic but really isn’t, is to understand the labeling terms and what you need to look for. Your first step is that you should be looking for the USDA Organic seal. The USDA organic seal assures you that the product was grown, harvested, and processed according to the standards required by the United States government. The USDA standards include limits on the amounts of and residues of; pesticides, antibiotics, and hormones. Natural pesticides are permitted under the USDA label. The USDA label does not permit organic foods to be treated with any sewage sludge, bioengineering or ionizing radiation.
Below are the terms you need to understand:
- 100% Organic – This means that the product must be certified organic.
- Organic – This means that the product contains at least 95% certified organic ingredients.
- Made With Organic Ingredients – This means the product must contain at least 70% certified organic ingredients.
Foods You Should Always Buy Organic
- Baby Foods
- Bell Peppers (sweet)
- Peanut Butter
Foods You Can Buy Conventional/Local
How You Can Reduce Your Exposure To Pesticides
Whether you are buying organic food, local or conventional there are still some things you should do to reduce the amount of pesticide residue on the foods you are purchasing, such as scrubbing the fruits and vegetables you are going to consume. Wash all fruits and vegetables, even the ones that you will not be consuming the thick skin of such as honey dew, cantaloupe and watermelon. Remove the outer leaves from leafy vegetables and wash them thoroughly to remove residual dirt, residual surface pesticides, and bacterium.
Use Your Organic $$ Wisely
Organic foods can be expensive so use your dollars wisely. Buy organic for the foods your family most enjoys, but in season, it’s easier on your wallet. Buying organic from a variety of sources is another good way to reduce costs, watch for sales and go online to the producers to look for coupons or specials.
The health benefits from eating organic can really make a difference in your health, especially for those with food sensitivities and allergies. Another area organic foods are essential is if you are making your own baby food for your child, it’s a great way to give your baby a healthy start in life and as he or she grows, habits for a healthy lifestyle in the future.