The Expert Guide to Buying Organic

We’ve all heard the benefits of organic food, and maybe even come to appreciate the taste of a fresh apple or crop of blueberries free of chemical adulteration.

The jury’s still out on which and to what extent the 67 chemicals found in non-organic produce harm your body, but the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants named pesticides among 10 of the 12 most dangerous persistent chemicals. EPA figures indicate that in 2006 and 2008 humans used 5.2 billion pounds of pesticide. Consider it wasn’t long ago we were spraying anything and everything with DDT (and we all know how that worked out). The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates that pesticides in the United States kill 72 million birds each year. Didn’t we bring canaries into the mine for a reason?

However, organic food is expensive and not always easy to come by. The truth is some foods benefit more from organic production than others. The Clean 15 & Dirty Dozen is a list developed by the Environmental Working Group indicating which foods are generally safe to purchase non-organic and which are most contaminated.

DailyXY‘s health expert, Dr. John Dempster, naturopath and wellness professional, offered us his thoughts regarding organic foods.

“Toxins in non-organic food are associated with chronic illness – cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.” We are seeing a growing link between environmental contaminants and chronic illness. If patients avoid the Dirty Dozen, Dempster claims they can “reduce pesticide and herbicide intake by up to 80%.” Not only are you keeping out the bad, he says, you’re also putting in more good. Organic foods have a higher nutrient density than their chemically-reared counterparts.

You can feel even better knowing that you’re not the only one benefiting from your choice to go organic. The environmental cost of unfettered pesticide use is still unknown and future generations may pay the price for our cheap, abundant food. “Newborn infants, children – even placentas – are all highly susceptible to toxic effects.”

“Be responsible, for your own health and the health of others.”

For your convenience, we’ve reprinted the Dirty Dozen & Clean 15 below:

Dirty Dozen Clean 15
Apples Onions
Celery Sweet corn
Strawberries Pineapple
Peaches Avocado
Spinach Asparagus
Nectarines – imported Sweet peas
Grapes – imported Mangoes
Sweet bell peppers Eggplant
Potatoes Cantaloupe – domestic
Blueberries – domestic Kiwi
Lettuce Cabbage
Kale/collard greens Watermelon
Sweet potatoes

Image courtesy of digiyesica


1 thought on “The Expert Guide to Buying Organic”

  1. Helpful list. I like to buy organic but sometimes it is a bit cost prohibitive. Now I know where to direct my priorities. 

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