Top 4 Foods to Switch to Organic
So you’ve been reading up on the dangers of eating foods stuffed with growth hormones, and you’re ready to make the plunge for yourself and your entire family. But your budget doesn’t allow for a complete overhaul. Luckily, by changing only four foods to organic, you will be able to benefit not only from much heartier meals; but enjoy a healthier lifestyle that avoids many of the horrific additives found in many of the “regular” foods you’re used to eating.
Before we continue, let’s get something out of the way that’s on everyone’s mind at this point: yes, organic food usually costs a little more than standard food, but not by much. With most foods, you won’t see much of an increase, if any. The real increase in cost comes with buying organic meats, but even then the small price jump is well worth the health risks you are avoiding, as you will learn shortly.
With that said, one of the best foods to switch to organic is fruit. Blueberries, for example, can be treated with up to 52 different pesticides; and apples can sometimes receive as many as 36 pesticides. Many of these pesticides have been linked to damage to the reproductive and nervous systems. Often times, simply washing fruit is not enough – switching to organic removes many of these potentially harmful pesticides, and usually costs about the same as regular fruit. For instance, a six-ounce container of regular blueberries at my local Trader Joe’s market costs about $2.69; compared to the same size of organic blueberries at $2.99.
Milk is a big one. Even if you aren’t bothered by the fact that many of these milk factories consist of tightly clustered, potentially unhygienic cows packed into cages just big enough to fit them, there are quite a few reasons to switch to organic milk as soon as possible. There is one growth hormone in particular to be wary of: rBGH. This chemical is pumped into cows in order for them to produce more milk. But this process decreases the cow’s immune system, thereby increasing the chance of developing diseases. To combat these illnesses, farmers then make sure the cows get plenty of antibiotics.
This produces two results for us, the consumers. All of those antibiotics find their way into the milk, and then into our stomachs, where we build up resistance to them and reduce the effectiveness and potency of future antibiotics. Worse yet, the growth hormone rBGH contains IGF-1, which has been linked to cancer development.
Buying organic meat means avoiding many health dangers, even if it costs a little more than usual. The animals used for organic meats are usually raised on free-range farms where they are fed organic feed and are well kept. Regular meat tends to contain many different pesticides, antibiotics, growth hormones and steroids – similar to milk. Additionally, there are a few color-fixing additives such as Sodium Nitrate that is meant to give meat that reddish color; even though that very chemical is known to cause cancer. And, if you are eating processed meats, be wary of high fructose corn syrup, which has been linked to liver disease and obesity.
The potato can account for up to 30 percent of our vegetable consumption, so changing this food can have a big impact on your health. Standard potatoes are grown the same way as most other vegetables; heavily doused in fungicides, pesticides, and other chemicals. Even after peeling and washing them, there are still a lot of these chemicals left soaked into the vegetable. By switching to organic potatoes, you are swapping out a large portion of your vegetable intake with a healthy alternative.
See? That wasn’t so hard, was it? With just a few adjustments you can be on your way to a much safer, much healthier way of eating.
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