On one of the first days of organic chemistry my professor loudly exclaimed, “What’s all this fuss about organic food? Organic is anything with a carbon backbone”. While that may be true, modern science has showed us that food today is way different than the food our ancestors once ate. Dyes, pesticides, additives and hormones make it difficult to not be concerned about what you put in your mouth at mealtime.
Restaurants like Panera Bread and Chipolte have even taken the plunge to clean up their food act in light of consumer concerns. In fact as of January 6 of this year, the US based bakery and cafe at Panera no longer contains artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners or additives on their menu.
Pesticides and contaminants in food has been linked to everything from ADHD to cancer. And while opponents question the correlation, do we really know all the risks of tampering with what occurs in DNA naturally? Fortunately, just a few small changes at the grocery store can have a major impact in your family’s health. Here’s the list of foods that you should always buy organic.
Dairy cows are treated with with a hormone called rBHG. The short story is higher levels of rBHG causes increased levels of something known as insulin like growth factor (IGF-1), which can increase cancer risk. Organic milk also has high quantities of omega-3’s, which does a body good.
Not surprisingly, some of the hormones used in raising cattle have also been linked to cancer. Specifically, the risk is linked with added estrogen-like substances in the beef.
Selected Fruits & Veggies
When it comes to produce, there’s a long list on no-no’s on the dirty dozen list. The top three on that list are apples, strawberries and grapes. These fruits and vegetables have a laundry list of pesticidal residue in the greatest concentrations. The truth is, if you can “swing it”, take the plunge and aim for putting all twelve on the “must buy organic list”.
Other fruits and vegetables on the list include peaches, celery and cherry tomatoes.
Buying organic chicken means that you are going to pay about twice as much per pound so, buy in bulk if you can. Organic chicken is also more tender and juicer. If the climb to buying organic chicken is too steep, buy conventional chicken but be sure to trim off any skin and fat.