What to buy organic and what not

A study published on 4th Sept. in the Annals of Internal Medicine, analyzed data from more than 200 earlier studies conducted over the past 40 years. What for? Scientists were trying to estimate the goodness of the organic products. What did they found out? Their publication showed that 38 percent of non-organic produce contain pesticide residue compared to just 7 percent in organic products.

“Conventional food has a 30% higher risk for pesticide contamination than organic produce.” They wrote. Moreover: “Conventional chicken and pork have a 33% higher risk for contamination with bacteria resistant to three or more antibiotics than organic products do”.

I’m glad to get to know good things about organic foods. I can’t understand why this study has created a stir, though. Or rather, why the news generated by some journalists with respect to this publication, has raised a fuss. Many said: organic food doesn’t contain more vitamins the the inorganic, quoting the scientific paper, and it is similar to the inorganic one, misunderstanding the meaning of the paper (in bad faith, I believe).

The story about vitamins is a truth used to say the untrue. Organic food is first of all natural food, not subject to alteration or enrichment in vitamins. It doesn’t make slimmer or virtuous.

Moreover it is protected, sheltered from pesticides.  Preventing our body from getting pesticide and chemicals, we  work on staying healthy longer.

At this point I could write the apology of Organic food. Instead I choose to tell you why what I buy is not all organic. Some foods are more subject to a chemical treatments. Others are naturally safe because human beings did not find (yet) an advantage in growing/producing them with chemicals.

Food which is better to buy Organic

  • Beef. The cattle farming forces animals in a few meters of overcrowded cages where the risk of infection is high, which is why a massive use of antibiotics is needed. Want to avoid ingesting antibiotics? Buy organic beef.
  • For the same reason milk is a product we should get organic.
  • Among fruits strawberries are the ones that is far way better to buy organic. The porosity of outer part, the absence of peel and the presence of small holes, makes strawberries exposed to chemical pesticides difficult to wash out.
  • Among the vegetables celery is the most exposed to chemicals: its porous stem retains much of the chemical spray with which it is treated. We’d also better buy organic peppers, spinach and potatoes (except sweet potatoes).

Safe foods you don’t need to buy organic

  • All the fruits with thick skin are “safe”. No particular reason to buy organic avocado.
  • Eggs are very safe too, because there are no hormones in the diet of  chickens (the poultry industry just doesn’t need to grow them bigger). Remember to buy the free range ones.
  • Frozen products, since chemical elements are killed at low temperatures.
Want to know more? Have a look at following useful table. What’s your favorite organic food?

Image from: http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary/

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