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Organic vs. Non-Organic Foods: Which to Choose?

Organic vs. Non-Organic Foods: Which to Choose?Sometimes having so many options to choose from can be overwhelming, not to mention confusing. Since the organic food movement a few years back, consumers are questioning their judgment more than ever these days. Are all organic foods better than traditionally grown foods? If not, which traditional food items are okay to buy and consume? Which is better than the other?


Although organic foods are widely known to be better for our health and the environment there is still room for debate as to whether organic foods are always superior to their traditionally cultivated versions. Consumers flock to organic food more than ever but are their decisions the better ones? Sometimes going past the labels can make a difference in what you decide to purchase and what you decide to keep on the store shelf.


Organic fruits are typically the more preferred by those that are conscious about both the environment and their health. However, you may be surprised by how locally grown produce can also be kind to the planet and good for your health. Cherries and strawberries locally grown and non-organic are not bad for you. Locally grown cherries and strawberries tend to be fresher in quality since they don’t have as far to go in terms of being brought from the growers to the grocery store. Organic cherries and strawberries on the other hand, tend to be shipped out across long distances, which can make them lose their freshness by the time they reach store shelves - not to mention all the gas used for the vehicles that transport then.


When it comes to milk you may want to put your money into organic. Regular milk often comes from cows that are given growth hormones, known as recombinant bovine growth hormone (or rBGH) in order to make them produce more milk. Some say the presence of rBGH in milk can be hazardous to humans. While the issue is still being debated you have the option of playing it safe by serving organic, rBGH-free milk to your family, especially if you have babies or other young children. If you can’t quite afford the organic brands of milk, seek the lesser of two evils: low-fat, skim or soy milk.


There are a number of food items that are known to be high in pesticide residue when conventionally grown. Buying these foods in organic form is strongly encouraged if you are super health conscious. The following foods fall under this category in their conventionally grown form: peaches, bell peppers, nectarines, celery, pears and grapes.


When buying the following fruits and veggies, you can opt for conventionally grown, local produce over their organic counterparts: avocados, bananas, mangoes, kiwis, papayas, pineapples, corn and onions. What makes these particular fruits and veggies more favorable than their organic versions: their thick or tough peel. It’s no secret that conventionally grown produce is treated with harmful pesticides. However, the thick and rough peels of certain fruits and veggies have the ability to absorb the majority of the pesticides and when thrown away, the part you eat has less pesticide residue. While it may not be 100% free of the pesticide the amount you do consume is less likely to be toxic.


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