Organic Food BasketA quarter of Americans buy organic food weekly, and a whopping three-quarters of the population find a reason to buy organic foods occasionally, which shows how well the word is getting around about the dangers of pesticide and hormone accumulation in humans and animals. But many people are not so knowledgeable about organic food — so why bother?

The reasons for buying organic food are many. Fifteen years ago, Organic Times magazine compiled a list that deserves repeating:

  • The protection of children — they are more vulnerable than adults to pesticide poisoning.
  • The prevention of soil erosion — our most severe problem over time.
  • The protection of water quality — pesticides, herbicides, and commercial fertilizers are formidable water contaminants.
  • Energy savings — organic farming is essentially labor intensive and locally marketed, while conventional farming is one of our major energy wasters especially in light of rising transport costs.
  • Eliminates chemical poisoning of farm workers — remember Cesar Chavez.
  • Preserves small farms — sustainable farming, most of the time organic due to chemical costs, favors the small producer, while conventional farming eliminates family farms and transfers land stewardship into the hands of farming conglomerates known as Agri-Biz.
  • Support of a true economy — organic foods might appear more costly, but we, as taxpayers, pay dearly for the pollution cleanup, pesticide testing, irrigation projects, soil depletion, hazardous waste disposal, farm subsidies, etc., resulting from conventional agriculture.
  • Promotion of biodiversity — the disastrous practice of monoculture based on corn and soybeans, the hallmark of conventional agriculture, has taken over the American Heartland and is becoming a global calamity in more and more economies of Central and South America and Africa.
  • Fresh, nutritious, better-tasting food — dare I say anti-aging?

When going organic 100% isn’t an option, here are a few guidelines to help you choose. According to a study done by the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit research organization (and reported on the Revolution Health website), here are the 12 foods most often laced with pesticides when grown commercially:

12 Foods Most Often laced with Pesticides when grown commercially

  1. Peaches
  2. Strawberries
  3. Apples
  4. Spinach
  5. Nectarines
  6. Celery
  7. Pears
  8. Cherries
  9. Potatoes
  10. Raspberries
  11. Sweet bell peppers
  12. Grapes (imported)

12 Least Contaminated Foods

The least contaminated — and thus of less critical importance to seek out organically:

  1. Sweet corn
  2. Avocado
  3. Cauliflower
  4. Asparagus
  5. Onions
  6. Peas
  7. Broccoli
  8. Pineapples
  9. Mangoes
  10. Bananas
  11. Kiwi
  12. Papaya

Contributing Author Lynn Cameron owns the AromaVital.com website and has conducted her own research into the complementary health field since the early seventies.

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