What to Buy Organic: Fruits and Vegetables You Should Always Buy Organic
During the past few years, more and more people are buying and switching to organic food. The trend to go natural, pesticide-free, and organic is more likely to stay and won’t go away, as long as there are people who gain a lot of health benefits from these special foods. If you visit your local supermarket, you may find stalls of organic fruits and vegetables being sold at affordable prices. You can even visit nearby farms to find the freshest and newly harvested produce that can be delivered directly to your home.
What is Organic Food?
When a food is referred as organic, it means that it must be grown without the use of any pesticides, chemical fertilizers, and bioengineered genes or GMO. Organic food does not only refer to fruits and vegetables, it can also be applied to livestock meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products. Organic meat or chicken only consumes organic feeds and are usually free to roam around. These animals are not given any antibiotics, growth hormones, and chemicals, if they want to be considered as organic livestock.
What are the Benefits of Organic Food?
Experts agree that organic food is richer in nutrients and contain stronger antioxidants compared to the conventionally-grown food products. Pesticides and other chemical fertilizers being used for fruits and vegetables have been linked to so many diseases and illnesses, which is why more people are switching to organically grown foods. Here are some of the benefits of organic food.
- Organic food has no pesticides – farmers often use pesticides and insecticides to protect their crops from insects. However, chemical residues can remain on the food, which can affect the health of the people.
- Organic food has no preservatives – some people prefer growing their own fruits and vegetables because these foods are fresher and contain no preservatives. Usually, organic foods are grown and sold in smaller farms.
- Organic food is not genetically modified – fruits and vegetables that are genetically engineered means that their DNA is altered to be resistant to certain pesticides.
- Organic food is richer in nutrients – studies have shown that organic meat and milk are 50% higher in omega-3 fatty acids.
What to Buy Organic Foods?
Now that you have a wider insight on the benefits of organic food, the question is – What to buy organic foods? Remember, there is a big difference between natural and organic. When the food is labeled organic, it is USDA certified, which means that it is grown without any pesticides and does not have genetically modified organisms or GMO. However, organic food tends to be more expensive than the conventional foods in the grocery. Here is a guide on the best organic fruits and vegetables to always buy even when you are on a budget.
Apples are one of the most highly contaminated fruits when it comes to pesticides. According to a recent research, 99% of apples that were tested contain chemical residues from pesticides. It is better to choose organic to avoid consuming these chemicals. If you already bought apples, make sure to wash them thoroughly or peel off the skin before eating. Organic apples do not contain synthetic wax coatings, which makes the apples look shinier and appetizing. Apples are rich in fiber that can keep your digestive system healthier. Organic apple also has better flavor and richer in antioxidants than the conventionally grown apples. Next time, try to visit the organic food stalls and buy the freshest apples.
Grapes are often sprayed with various chemicals because they tend to ripen quickly and attract different insects. Studies have shown that grapes usually contain more than 15 types of chemical residues from pesticides. If you’re going to buy grapes, it is better to choose organic. Avoid the Chilean grapes because they contain as many as 17 types of chemical residues. Organic grapes make a wonderful snack and they have sweeter flavor with more antioxidants that are beneficial to your health.
Just like apples, strawberries have one of the highest concentrations of pesticide residues in all of the fruits. You don’t want these chemical residues entering your body just because you want to eat these delicious fruits. According to one research, 300 pounds of pesticide is used for each acre of conventionally-grown strawberries. Now that is a lot of pesticides that could cause so many health problems. Another study has shown evidence that organic strawberries are more nutritious and they taste better with a fuller flavor. Organic strawberries also have higher levels of anti-cancer nutrients compared to the ones that have been sprayed with pesticides.
Spinach is very nutrient-dense and it is low in calories, which makes it one of the most recommended vegetables for boosting your health. Just one cup of spinach contains a complete daily requirement of your vitamin A and vitamin K. However, spinach is also very high in pesticide residues. These chemical residues are toxins and carcinogens that can be harmful to the body and interfere with the production of hormones. It is important to wash the leaves thoroughly, even if you bought the organic variety.
Peaches are more likely to contain different chemical residues from pesticides, so it is recommended to buy organic. According to one research, 98% of conventionally grown peaches contain at least 13 pesticide residues. It is better to buy fresh organic peaches to avoid ingesting the chemical residue in this fruit. Peaches are rich in antioxidants that can lower the risk of age-related diseases. Eating organic peaches can also help fight the formation of free radicals in the body that damage the cells.
When trying to decide what to buy organic, you should always include potatoes on the list. The conventionally grown potatoes are known for having the highest pesticide content among vegetables. Even if some potatoes are washed and peeled, there are still some traces of pesticide residues in the potato flesh. Most farmers spray potatoes that are grown above the ground with pesticides and the soil is treated with fungicide. Organic potatoes are not only chemical-free, but they have higher levels of nutrients such as fiber and potassium. If you find organic potatoes too expensive, or you are having difficulty finding them in the supermarket, you can try growing them in your garden.
Celery is another vegetable that is heavily sprayed with pesticides, so always look for the organic variety. Celery is rich in vitamin C, B vitamins, and fiber for digestive health. Organic celery has higher levels of vitamin K and it has a slightly distinctive sweet flavor that is much better than the conventionally grown celery.
Cucumber is considered as a dirty produce because it contains high amounts of pesticide sprays. This is the main reason why it is advised to buy organic fruits and vegetables, especially cucumbers and the other foods in this list. If you are eating a non-organic cucumber, always peel off the skin because it holds most of the chemical residue. Studies show that a typical cucumber contains more than 86 different types of chemicals. Ingesting these chemical residues can have a negative impact on your health, especially if these foods are part of your regular diet.
Sweet Bell Peppers
Sweet bell peppers are a favorite ingredient for a variety of dishes because they add vibrant colors and provide a lot of nutritional benefits. Consuming one cup of sweet bell pepper is enough to provide you with 100% of your vitamin A daily requirement and 300% of your vitamin C daily requirement. However, it is strongly recommended to buy the organic sweet bell peppers because the conventional ones in the supermarket contain at least 50 different types of pesticides and herbicides.
Imported Snap Peas
When it comes to snap peas, the imported ones are more dangerous to eat because it has heavier amounts of pesticides and chemicals. Organic food grown in your backyard or on an organic farm nearby is your best option if you want to avoid these chemical and pesticide residues. Snap peas are rich in vitamin A, vitamin K, and fiber, plus it is very low in calories, which makes it a perfect food for losing weight.
Organic Food Buying Tips to Save Money
Here are some great tips when buying organic food. You have to buy organic fruits and vegetables when they are in season because they are much cheaper and fresher. If you really want to be sure about the freshness and quality of the food you buy, try to find out when the product is delivered to the market. You should also read the labels when buying organic food products. Sometimes there are products that have high sugar, salt, and fat content even if they are considered organic. You can save a lot of money if you can find a farmer’s market near your place. This is where local farmers sell their produce at a cheaper and discounted price. Always look for the organic logo to ensure that you are buying the right food products.