“Organic” is a concept that is growing in popularity. Though shopping and eating organic foods and products is on the rise, and essentially trendy, one must question as to whether it possesses enough healthy advantages to truly be worth the added cost. In less than20 years, organic foods have ascended from a mere three million dollars in revenue to over 20 million dollars annually. This leaves organic consumers with a grocery bill nearly double that of the conventional American shopper. In recent years, individuals, groups, and researchers have begun an inquiry into the benefit, or lack thereof, of eating a largely organic diet and they are coming up short on any substantial benefit.
The lengthy definition of organic set forth by the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Program details that organic products come from animals that are not given antibiotics or growth hormones and that organic food is made without the use of conventional pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. This, however, does not always mean that there are no pesticides or herbicides used and farmers can still use “natural” pesticides. Another cause for concern is the fact that imported products are rarely inspected and could potentially come from countries that have little enforcement of protocols for foods labeled as organic.
Under the USDA, organic food labeling falls into three categories: “100% Organic,” “Organic” (95% organic ingredients), and “Made with Organic Ingredients” (70% organic ingredients). A responsible consumer should read all labels and note that very few foods are actually 100% organic. More notably, recent studies have indicated that organic produce does have 30 percent less pesticide residue than conventionally grown food and a list has begun to circulate as to which produce should be purchased as organic and which are just as safe even if they are not organic. These foods are referred to as the “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean 15,” respectively.
Below there are five other foods that you should skip organic on:
- Eggs: Generally speaking, chickens that are raised for eggs are not given any growth hormones. Research and testing has shown that organic eggs do not have any more or less contaminants than eggs without the organic label.
- Honey: Organic honey is essentially a myth. Honey that is truly organic cannot exist because bees are going to float from flower to flower and feed, regardless of whether there chosen blossom is pure and organic or not. Consider buying local or raw honey, but not necessarily organic.
- Milk: Recent studies have revealed that milk produced by cows that were given growth hormones seemed equally safe for consumption. Conclusions suggested that there was no noteable difference in the concentration of estrogen in organic milk versus conventional milk. Overall, the lower the fat content of the milk, the lower the estrogen levels.
- Processed Foods: Processed foods are processed foods even under the guise of the organic stamp. If food comes out of a box or package that claims to be organic, it may not have any preservatives, but it is more than likely still not nutritionally superior.
- Seafood: There are no federal regulations to classify any fish or sea life as organic. Be aware of any seafood that is marked in this way because it is probably more expensive but lacks testing for toxicity and could still possibly contain impurities, including mercury.