Thursday, March 29, 2012

Organic vs Conventional - What's the Big Fuss?


Organic Farmer's Markets are essential if you are shopping on a budget!


I now know that while I lived in Spokane I became spoiled! I was fortunate enough to live near Huckleberry's Natural Market as well as the community's Organic Farmers' Market! Until I moved away I had no idea just how fantastic these resources were . . . I was always able to find very high quality, beautiful and organic fruits and veggies offered up at prices I could afford!




I really, really miss Huckleberry's - 90% organic produce!!!


But since I've been on the road for the last 16 months I've realized that even in a big city like Dallas or even in cities in Southern California these items are much more difficult to find and a great deal more expensive.

Gone are the days of my cavalier response to people when they asked me about the importance of organic food - "Just buy only organic, the price difference is worth it!" Now I truly understand your issues . . . availability and expense.


So given my new circumstances and our current economic climate, now when I'm asked which foods I think are the most important foods to buy organic and which are OK to buy from a conventional source I have a different answer. 


If you would like to hear a recorded talk I gave a few months ago, click on the link below:  




It's about an hour long and covers topics from antioxidants to organic foods. If you want to skip directly to the portion on organic foods and why I think they are important, just move the bar until you get to -25:00 and that will deliver you to the right spot!

And below is a really handy reference chart to help you make better meal plans based on the availability of organic produce as well as seasonal prices!


Make it a point to visit your local Organic Farmers' Markets - by supporting them we not only get the freshest possible produce, eggs and so much more, we also help them lower the cost of doing business - and that means savings passed along to us as consumers! 


Hope you enjoy the recording and the handy-dandy chart! 


Dr. P




Top 12 Foods You Should Eat Organically 
From lowest to highest amount of pesticides

1. Apples: They contain 42 known pesticide residues found by the USDA Pesticide Data Program. Out of the 42 pesticide residues, there are 7 known carcinogens, 19 suspected hormone disruptors, 10 neurotoxins, 6 developmental or reproductive toxins, and 17 honeybee toxins.

2. Cherries: They contain 42 known pesticide residues found by the USDA Pesticide Data Program. Out of the 42 pesticide residues, 7 known or probable carcinogens, 22 suspected hormone disruptors, 7 neurotoxins, 8 development or reproductive toxins, and 18 honeybee toxins.

3. Green Beans:  They contain 44 known pesticide residues found by the USDA Pesticide Data Program. Out of the 44 pesticide residues, there are 8 known carcinogens, 22 suspected hormone disruptors, 11 neurotoxins, 8 developmental or reproductive toxins, and 18 honeybee toxins.

4. Collard Greens:  They contain 46 known pesticide residues found by the USDA Pesticide Data Program. Out of the 46 pesticide residues, there are 9 known carcinogens, 25 suspected hormone disruptors, 10 neurotoxins, 8 developmental or reproductive toxins, and 25 honeybee toxins.

5. Spinach:  It contains 48 known pesticide residues found by the USDA Pesticide Data Program. Out of the 48 pesticide residues, there are 8 known carcinogens, 25 suspected hormone disruptors, 8 neurotoxins, 6 developmental or reproductive toxins, and 23 honeybee toxins.

6. Sweet Bell Peppers:  They contain 49 known pesticide residues found by the USDA Pesticide Data Program. Out of the 49 pesticide residues, there are 11 known carcinogens, 26 suspected hormone disruptors, 13 neurotoxins, 10 developmental or reproductive toxins, and 19 honeybee toxins.

7. Lettuce:  It contains 51 known pesticide residues found by the USDA Pesticide Data Program. Out of the 51 pesticide residues, there are 12 known carcinogens, 29 suspected hormone disruptors, 9 neurotoxins, 10 developmental or reproductive toxins, and 21 honeybee toxins.

8. Blueberries:  They contain 52 known pesticide residues found by the USDA Pesticide Data Program. Out of the 52 pesticide residues, there are 8 known carcinogens, 24 suspected hormone disruptors, 14 neurotoxins, 7 developmental or reproductive toxins, and 21 honeybee toxins.

9. Strawberries:  They contain 54 known pesticide residues found by the USDA Pesticide Data Program. Out of the 54 pesticide residues, there are 9 known carcinogens, 24 suspected hormone disruptors,11 neurotoxins, 12 developmental or reproductive toxins, and 19 honeybee toxins.

10. Kale:  It contains 55 known pesticide residues found by the USDA Pesticide Data Program. Out of the 55 pesticide residues, there are 9 known carcinogens, 27 suspected hormone disruptors, 10 neurotoxins, 10 developmental or reproductive toxins, and 23 honeybee toxins.

11. Peaches:  They contain 62 known pesticide residues found by the USDA Pesticide Data Program. Out of the 62 pesticide residues, there are 10 known carcinogens, 29 suspected hormone disruptors, 12 neurotoxins, 11 developmental or reproductive toxins, and 25 honeybee toxins.

12. Celery:  It contains the most at 64 known pesticide residues found by the USDA Pesticide Data Program. Out of the 64 pesticide residues, there are 13 known carcinogens, 31 suspected hormone disruptors, 12 neurotoxins, 14 developmental or reproductive toxins, and 20 honeybee toxins.


Honorable Mentions 
- Broccoli: It contains 33 known pesticide residues found by the USDA Pesticide Data Program.
- Cucumbers: They contain 35 known pesticide residues found by the USDA Pesticide Data Program.
- Grapes: They contain 34 known pesticide residues found by the USDA Pesticide Data Program.
- Potatoes: They contain 37 known pesticide residues found by the USDA Pesticide Data Program.
- Tomatoes: They contain 35 known pesticide residues found by the USDA Pesticide Data Program.



5 Foods that Contain the Lowest Pesticide Residues
Bananas: They contain 12 known pesticide residues found by the USDA Pesticide Data Program. Out of the 12 pesticide residues, there are 4 known carcinogens, 7 suspected hormone disruptors, 2 neurotoxins, 5 developmental or reproductive toxins, and 2 honeybee toxins.

Grapefruit: It contains 11 known pesticide residues found by the USDA Pesticide Data Program. Out of the 11 pesticide residues, there are 4 known carcinogens, 4 suspected hormone disruptors, 4 neurotoxins, 4 developmental or reproductive toxins, and 2 honeybee toxins.

Almonds: They contain 9 known pesticide residues found by the USDA Pesticide Data Program. Out of the 9 pesticide residues, there are 1 known carcinogens, 4 suspected hormone disruptors, 3 neurotoxins, 0 developmental or reproductive toxins, and 4 honeybee toxins.

Asparagus: It contains 9 known pesticide residues found by the USDA Pesticide Data Program. Out of the 9 pesticide residues, there are 1 known carcinogens, 7 suspected hormone disruptors, 4 neurotoxins, 3 developmental or reproductive toxins, and 5 honeybee toxins.

Onion: It contains 1 known pesticide residues found by the USDA Pesticide Data Program. Out of the 9 pesticide residues, there are 0 known carcinogens, 0 suspected hormone disruptors, 0 neurotoxins, 0 developmental or reproductive toxins, and 0 honeybee toxins.


When buying produce always consider buying organic. Better yet, to ensure freshness, buy local as much as you can. When you can buy both local and organic, you can guarantee that the product is both free of pesticides, and full of nutrients. Further to this, you will also avoid any potential foods that may have been genetically modified. To check out pesticide residues on other sources of food, you may visit: 


By substituting the top 12 pesticide laden foods with organic, you can eliminate up to 80% of pesticides from your diet.


Here's a handy chart you can print out and keep in your wallet or purse to help you while you are shopping!  (But just walk away from corn unless you know it has no GMO's)




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