Food for Thought : What Does Organic Really Mean

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In last little dissertation on GMOs, I said the best way to avoid them is by buying Organic.  What does that mean?  The nifty graphic below from Robin O’Brien pretty much sums it up:

 

I don’t know about you, but there seems to be more benefits to buying organic than just avoiding GMOs…

 

But here is the thing – there are a couple different levels of Organic…. I know, I know.  Why can’t this stuff just be straight forward?  I don’t know what to tell you.  We live in a nutty world.

 

When a product says it Contains Organic Ingredients it means less than 70% of the ingredients are Organic.  (hey, it is better than nothing).

 

If a product says it is Made With Organic Ingredients it means at least 70% of the ingredients are Organic.

 

The real labels we should be looking for are Organic (contains at least 95% Organic Ingredients) and 100% Organic (which are completely Organic).   Only these products are allowed to contain the USDA Organic Seal.

 

When it comes to buying fruits and veggies, there are some ways to save.  The Dirty Dozen typically contain higher pesticide levels when conventionally grown.

The Dirty Dozen are:

  • Apples
  • Bell Peppers
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Ernest Borgnine (just checking to see if you are still reading…)
  • Cherries
  • Grapes (imported)
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Strawberries

I have been buying organic strawberries all summer; Max is a huge fan.  Typically, they have been running around $3.99.  Not too bad, especially when he eats them all.

 

The Clean Thirteen have been found to have the lowest levels of pesticides, mostly due to the fact these fruits and veggies have thicker skins or need to be pealed.  You can save money here by not always buying organic

The Clean Thirteen are:

  • Asparagus
  • Avocado
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Eggplant
  • Kiwi
  • Mango
  • Onion
  • Pineapple
  • Peas (sweet)
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Watermelon

 So, there you have it.  A simple starting point for purchasing Organic.   Next week I plan on posting about Organic Dairy and Meat.  Who else is excited?

 

Just me, huh.  :)

 

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