Do you love going to the farmer’s market, buying fresh fruit and vegetables, then cooking a homemade meal? Or do you prefer shopping at a grocery store and picking up pre-packaged produce? The next time you go to either, consider these differences between organic and non-organic produce:
Because organic produce does not contain chemicals, it has a greater concentration of nutrients. In a study done by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, they found that organic strawberries had double the antioxidants than non-organic ones. Some studies even show that organic produce contains more vitamin C and iron. Studies also reveal that non-organic vegetables lose 80% of their vitamin C when stored for just 7 days after purchasing.
Organic produce is about 30% more expensive overall than non-organic produce! Much of this has to do with what chemicals are used to grow conventional crops and how much yield you get from each plant. For example, if one organic watermelon costs $8 total but yields 5 servings at only $2/serving, whereas one conventional watermelon costs $4 total but 2 servings at $2/serving, it seems logical to pick the organic watermelon. But if you don’t have a lot of extra cash, going with the conventional is a more reasonable choice!
Another risk associated with pesticides is toxin exposure in children through inhalation or skin contact while playing outside where fruits and vegetables are treated with these chemicals before purchase in grocery stores, farmer’s markets, etc… Organophosphates can cause nausea, vomiting, headaches and dizziness in adults while acute exposure can cause respiratory problems. Behavioral issues in children have been linked to organophosphates including hyperactivity, impulsivity and lower IQs.
By buying organic produce, you are contributing to biodynamic farming which helps support biodiversity through crop rotation. Conventionally grown crops are often treated with monoculture – the planting of only one crop species on a field at a time resulting in soil degradation, destroying organisms that live there and leading to resistance in diseases and pests among other things. Buying organic promotes biodiversity which is important for your overall well being because an increase in diversity means an increase in the potential food sources available when communities come together over good food.
Organic produce is composted at the end of its life (composting organic waste) while non-organic produce is not. Because of this, and other reasons such as soil and water pollution, it’s important to consider where your food comes from and its impact on the environment. Buying organic helps support a more sustainable system for our future generations
Organic produce is healthier for you and your family because it limits exposure to pesticides, toxins and environmental pollutants. It encourages biodynamic farming that benefits wildlife surrounding farmlands while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Be sure to buy organic!