(Health Secrets) When 70% of your food intake is fresh produce, the question of whether to buy conventional or organic is going to come up. In the first part of this article, flavor, nutrition and energetic difference were discussed. In the second part we’ll take a look at cost and pesticide.
Where are you financially? It is true that the cost and availability of organic food is improving. This is going to be helped tremendously by your willingness as a consumer to choose organic (it is a supply and demand thing). And although the margin of cost difference is decreasing, it is still a reality that buying organic takes a bigger chunk of your immediate food budget, even though it is the cheaper alternative for the long run.
If you are in a financial position to accept the extra margin of cost now, it is well worth it and certainly appropriate to make the switch. As a student of one of my nutrition classes once related, when she looks at that margin of difference between the organic choice and the conventional, she chooses the organic and says to herself, “I’m worth it”. Being able to recognize that one is worth the difference is an admirable position to be in, since it enables you to act in your own best interests.
On the flip side, does going for organic place such a strain on your budget that you feel like you can’t buy the amount of food you would otherwise buy? If this is where you are and the question is conventional produce or much less produce, buy conventional and feel no guilt or regret about it! The road to being truly healthy is paved with live vegetation. Keep your road full of produce. That matters more than whether or not it is organic.
In my experience, cutting down on the volume of produce purchased in order to stay within a budget limitation is not wise. When my family tried that, it produced a great deal of stress and tension over eating the more expensive produce that was not as abundantly available. It was stressful whenever someone wanted a piece of fruit!
Rationing was taking place, to ensure there would be enough to last until the next grocery day. It made no sense to us that we were worrying about our family eating too much produce! We knew that was the opposite direction from where we needed to be going. It would be better to have a family partake freely and lovingly from a case of conventional oranges, than a small basket of hoarded organic ones. If this is your situation, buy conventional and enjoy it freely.
Now the pesticide question
In a potato, the pesticide residue is .003. In a piece of conventionally raised chicken, it is .281, nearly 300 more parts per million in every bite. It would take you almost a year of eating conventionally grown potatoes to get the same amount of pesticide residue that one serving of chicken contains. Why? Because not only do the animals’ bodies collect and concentrate poisons from conventionally raised feed into their flesh, their feed is allowed to have 20% more pesticides used on it than what is allowed on crops grown for human use.
So if you are weighing the pros and cons pertaining to pesticides, consider what else is on your plate besides the produce. If you consume animal products regularly, you will be getting far less pesticides in your diet by going to organic animals first instead of concentrating on organic produce.
However, for those who have already eliminated the more concentrated sources of pesticides from their diet, or for those battling a serious health condition, the question becomes, poison or no poison? Poison from sprayed produce is one more thing your body will have to eliminate, and organic produce has far less or no pesticide load.
The examples here really express my basic belief that whether it is organic or conventional, being pro produce is the most important thing. Eat food that is alive.
The decision to go organic is going to depend on you as an individual. Where are you in your transition to a healthy lifestyle? Are you just starting to add in produce or have you been a long time user? If you are still working on how to get off of processed foods, white flour, and loads of sugar, focus on that. If you have a handle on eating healthfully and the difference between an organic salad and a non organic one is profound, it is time to make the switch. But wherever you are, be sure to savor every bite.