Is organic, local, grass fed, non GMO really better? The answer is yes it is, and choosing these foods as much as possible is beneficial to your health. The next best would be local produce. Most small grocery stores now carry organic options, as well as farmers markets, and supermarkets.
For foods that are not bought organic, using a food wash (bought in the grocery store) or a vinegar or hydrogen peroxide diluted in water to reduce the pesticide/toxins on your produce is recommended.
Buying grass fed/free range meats as much as possible is also recommended: conventional animals feed of GMO feed that also has pesticides and fertilizers, not to mention the hormones, antibiotics that they are given. Animals concentrate these chemicals in their fat and tissues, and when we eat them we are getting high amounts of these toxins. Free range/organic meats are not exposed to these toxins, and as a result of their diet and lifestyles they are high in omega-3 fatty acids- the good anti-inflammatory fat!
- The bottom line is do what you can when you can, but being aware of what you are consuming is important for your health. the following article explains in more detail the impacts of conventional foods:
From Dr. Mercola:
Research has shown that pesticides and other agricultural chemicals are neurotoxins and can cause disruptions to your neurological system and your brain. The reason why neurotoxins still enjoy widespread use on our fresh food supply is really more about the bottom line for farming operations than it is about the science of human health.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers 60 percent of herbicides, 90 percent of fungicides, and 30 percent of insecticides to be carcinogenic. All of these toxins are permitted on conventional farms, and any number of them can end up on your plate when you purchase conventionally-grown fruits and vegetables.
The increased use of genetically engineered Bt hybrid plants1 and soil insecticides also increases the chemical load in food — particularly processed foods.
These man-made neurotoxic chemicals can bioaccumulate in your body, as they resist breaking down in water and also accumulate and store in fat, where they can remain for long periods of time.
In short, this means your body has a very hard time getting rid of them once they enter your body. The answer, of course, is to limit your exposure as much as possible, giving your body a chance to eliminate the toxins you do inadvertently ingest. One food that can help with detoxification is fermented foods.
What to choose Organic and What can be bought Conventional?
Your best bet is to buy only organic fruits and vegetables, as synthetic agricultural chemicals are not permissible under the USDA organic rules. That said, not all conventionally grown fruits and vegetables are subjected to the same amount of pesticide load.
And with food prices rising, many are looking for ways to buy the healthiest foods possible at the lowest cost.
One such way would be to focus on purchasing certain organic items, while “settling” for others that are conventionally-grown. To do this, I recommend familiarizing yourself with the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG’s) annualShoppers' Guide to Pesticides in Produce.2
Of the 48 different fruit and vegetable categories tested by the EWG for the 2013 guide, the following 15 fruits and vegetables had the highest pesticide load, making them the most important to buy or grow organically:
|Spinach||Strawberries||Sweet bell peppers|
|Kale||Collard greens||Summer squash|
In contrast, the following foods were found to have the lowest residual pesticide load, making them the safest bet among conventionally grown vegetables. Note that a small amount of sweet corn and most Hawaiian papaya, although low in pesticides, are genetically engineered (GE). If you’re unsure of whether the sweet corn or papaya is GE, I’d recommend opting for organic varieties:
|Cantaloupe||Sweet corn (non-GMO)||Eggplant|
|Mushrooms||Onions||Papayas (non-GMO. Most Hawaiian papaya is GMO)|
|Pineapple||Sweet peas (frozen)||Sweet potatoes|
In the Meat Department:
Many people are still in the dark about the vast differences betweenConcentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) and organically-raised, grass-fed or pastured meats, both in terms of contamination and nutrient content. It's important to understand that when you raise animals in a CAFO — away from the animals’ natural environments and diets — you dramatically increase the risk of pathogenic contamination that can make you ill.
Take beef, for example. Most CAFO cows are fed grains (typically genetically engineered grains, which make matters even worse), when their natural diet is plain grass. Grain diets create a much higher level of acidity in the animal's stomach, which E. coli bacteria need to survive. Meanwhile, E. coli contamination is actually quite rare in organic beef for this reason — the cows just aren't susceptible to those kinds of disease-causing bacteria and viruses when they eat what they were designed to eat.
Also beware that bacterial contamination of meat-glued steak — a cost-saving scam that is far more common than you might think — is hundreds of times higher than a solid piece of steak; therefore, if you cook your steak rare, which is ordinarily the most healthful way to cook your meat, you're at a much greater risk of contracting food poisoning.
It’s no surprise then to discover that pathogenic contamination of meat products is quite high. What’s worse, the routine use of low-dose antibiotics in CAFO’s has led to a dramatic and rapidly rising presence of antibiotic-resistant pathogens.According to a recent NPR report,3 data published by a joint government program4 from tests conducted on supermarket meat samples collected in 2011 by the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System, reveals the presence of several disease-causing bacteria, including the super-hardy antibiotic-resistant versions of salmonella, Campylobacterand E. coli. After analyzing the data, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) highlighted some of the startling implications in its own report,5 aptly named “Superbugs Invade American Supermarkets.” The EWG points out that many of the meats tested contained “startlingly high levels” of antibiotic-resistant bacteria on:
- 81 percent of ground turkey
- 69 percent of pork chops
- 55 percent of ground beef
- 39 percent of chicken breasts, wings and thighsOne of the best ways to avoid contaminated meat is to avoid meat from animals raised in confined animal feeding operations (CAFO’s), aka “factory farms,” and buying organic, pastured or grass-fed meats instead. Growth promoters such as antibiotics are not permitted in organic animal farming, and organically-raised animals are also healthier as a result of being pastured, so overall you’re getting far “cleaner,” healthier meat.
Article from: www.mercola.com "How to Find the Healthiest Fare in Meat and Produce Aisles" May 08, 2013.
- 1 Agprofessional.com April 1, 2013
- 2 Environmental Working Group, Shoppers' Guide to Pesticides in Produce
- 3 NPR April 17, 2013
- 4 FDA.gov, NARMS Retail Meat Annual Report, 2011
- 5 Environmental Working Group, Superbugs Invade American Supermarkets 2013 (PDF)
- 6 Environmental Working Group, Tips to Avoiding Superbugs in Meat
- 7 Environmental Working Group, Meat-Eaters Guide
- 8 Foodnavigator-usa.com April 18, 2013
- 9 Mother Jones April 24, 2013
- 10 Ams.usda.gov, Labeling Organic Products
- 11 FDA.gov, Natural and Organic Foods (PDF)
- 12 Non-GMO Shopping Guide
- 13 MSGmyth.com