Fact: Organic food significantly lowers your toxicity burden – various national and international regulatory bodies agree – There is no safe level of pesticide/herbicide consumption in humans, especially children.
It’s not just the physical presence of the toxic chemicals, modern agricultural practices have also led to a severe decline in food nutritional quality. Jo Robinson, author of “Eating on the Wild Side” notes, for example, purple potatoes native to Peru, grown in their wild, natural environment, contain 28 times more anthocyanin than those potatoes farmed using conventional practices – i.e. the ones you are buying at the grocery store.
Organic Foods Contain No/Low Pesticide/Herbicides and Higher Antioxidants. One of the easiest and most profound change you can have with your health this year is to simply choose not to buy conventional food items. Concerned with the price difference? The USDA estimates it only costs 10-15% more to buy organic and thanks to various online retailers, including Butcher Box, Thrive, Brandless and even Amazon the prices are almost equal to conventional items stocked on the shelf.
Studies have shown that organic foods
– significantly lower in pesticide residues
– significantly lower in herbicide residues
– contain higher amounts of vitamins/minerals
– contain higher amounts antioxidants and phytonutrients
– contain less antibiotics and antibiotic resistant bacteria (meats) – contain lower levels of toxic metals (cadmium, mercury, lead)
Most significantly, the amounts of antioxidants present in organic foods makes them an optimal choice for your overall health as antioxidants not only assist the body in natural detoxification but they have an ability to decrease free radicals associated with advanced aging (yes – the foods you eat do determine the rate at which you age!)
Ultimately, choosing organic products for yourself and your family is one of the most proactive measures you can implement to take control of your health. If you must choose between which products to purchase organic vs conventional, I strongly recommend always buying proteins (beef, chicken, fish, eggs etc.) at the highest level possible (organic, grass-fed, wild caught, free range etc.) and prioritizing you “Must Be Organic” list using the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) “Dirty Dozen” list of foods. These are the food items that are the most dangerous and heavily sprayed in today’s market and thus should always consumed organically – no exceptions.
Dirty Dozen List (https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/dirty-dozen.php)
Clean Fifteen list (https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/clean-fifteen.php)
The “Clean Fifteen” lists the particular foods that are the least contaminated and those that can be consumed in their conventional state at little to no risk to your health compared to buying their organic counterpart.
Shoppers note: Many traditional grocery stores carry a wide range of organic items, however the majority are imported from other countries, which may or may not have stringent organic standards in place. My recommendation is to try to buy local and direct from farmers, using the various farmers markets in the area.
You can find a complete list, including websites, addresses and times of operation for 30+ Charlotte based farmers markets at https://www.charlotteonthecheap.com/charlotte-area-farmers-markets-3/
Resources To Help You Save Money, Stick with Organic and Save Time!
– Thrive Market: Save 25-50% on favorite organic food brands. With an ever expanding list of nonperishable food items, this is an excellent resource for health foods like coconut milk, nuts/seeds, oils, and boxed items. They even now sell frozen items, including grass fed meats, organic free range chicken etc.
– Brandless: Brandless is by far one of my most favorite online sources for extremely inexpensive organic foods. Have you ever wondered why one jar of coconut oil is $40 and the one next to it is only $10? It’s simply the outside brand you are paying for! A food industry secret – the coconut oil is all sourced from the same supplier. Brandless sources their foods from the same national supplies but simply doesn’t apply any familiar brand logo. They are also famous for their items only being $3.00 per item, or 2 for $3.00. While their products are limited, it’s an exceptional resource for dressings, coconut and other oils, nut/seed butters, grainless pasta, spices, seasonings and more!
– Butcher Box: A monthly “meat box” where you can custom create a delivery directly to your door. All meats are hormone and antibiotic free, and they have 100% grass fed, grass finished red meats, wild caught salmon and organic free-range chicken. The boxes can average less than $6/meal and shipping is free! Considering portions are the most expensive portion of the average grocery bill this can help you save tremendously.
– Nuts.com: As the name implies, they are a great source for nuts, but they also have a vast amount of seeds and other snack items. I like them because they have Raw and Organic nuts and seeds (even ones you can’t find locally) at a massive discount over what you pay in local stores. They offer free shipping based on your order size ($59 and more) and host multiple online sales and coupons to help you save even more!
– Mother Earth Food: Be glad you live in Charlotte because this unique farm fresh box delivers to only three cities in the entire USA! Mother Earth Food delivers fresh, organic fruits and vegetables from local farms to your doorstep weekly (Charlotte gets deliveries Saturday). You can order “Fresh Produce Bins” ranging between $28-$38 and receive packages with up to 13 portions of seasonal fruits and veggies, which is definitely a better deal than buying them individually at the store. Additionally, you can buy seafood, meats, and even sweets individually. Make sure to take advantage of their weekly free meal plans that coordinate with whatever the current week’s bin include – then you don’t even think about what healthy meal you’re going to put on the table that day!