Organic Produce

We’ve all heard the rumors: organic produce is no different than non-organic produce from the grocery store. We understand that groceries are a big expense for our residents in Chicago and we’ve done some investigating so you can know whether or not spending extra money on organic produce is really worth it.
Young children and pregnant women should especially avoid pesticides because of how vulnerable their immune systems are – but the fact that pesticides pose any risk at all is to us a reason to go organic. We understand that organic meat and veggies are expensive and sometimes it’s too expensive to buy ALL organic. So we’ve put together a list of some of the most pesticide ridden meat and produce so that if you have to make decisions on what you buy organic – you make the right decisions. And it’s not just produce – many things we buy that have high levels of toxins or pesticides should be purchased organic. These are things you should definitely buy organic if you can:
1. Beef: hormones given to cattle have a strong connection with breast cancer and antibiotics given to cattle can lead to development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in people.

2. Strawberries: some non-organic strawberries have been detected with up to 13 different pesticides and all the pores in the fruit make them hard to wash off.

3. Popcorn: the lining in non-organic microwave popcorn bags has been linked with cancer.

4. Home Cleaners: see our Tuesday post on how to create your own at home SAFE home cleaners!!!

5. Milk: contains a ton of hormones which can lead to an increased risk of cancer. Go for milk that’s labeled rBGH-free, rBST-free or is produced without artificial hormones.

6. Celery: is one of the most contaminated vegetables. It uses some of the most chemicals when grown and the stalks retain a lot of pesticides.

7. Apples: more than 40 different pesticides have been detected on apples because of fungus and insects that threaten the crop. All apple products are smart to buy organic for this reason – so include apple juice and apple sauce on your organic shopping list as well!

8. Cucumbers: often have a very high number of pesticides. If you don’t have the choice of organic, peel of the skin which may reduce your chances of ingesting some of the pesticides.

9. Grapes: imported grapes can have more than 30 pesticides. Raisins also can be high in pesticides… let’s all take a moment and forget that wine is made of grapes. On second thought, go for an organic wine too. Try the brand Naked and add another item to your organic shopping list.

Recent studies have shown that organic produce has no more vitamins and minerals that conventionally grown produce. BUT studies also show that organic produce contains significantly less pesticides than conventionally grown produce. Specifically, antibiotic-resistant bacteria is commonly found on non-organic meats and cause serious issues. Pesticides and antibiotic-resistant bacteria can remain on non-organic produce even after proper washing.

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