For starters, organics are more expensive to some degree, and they often don’t look as good as conventional fruits and/or vegetables. Also, they’re sometimes difficult to find. So is it really what it’s cracked up to be? Is it worth the trouble finding it, and the extra cost?
In a word, YES.
Just to be able to avoid GMO’s is a very good reason for organics. Nothing organic will be GMO (genetically modified organism). And, if on the off chance you aren’t familiar with all that’s bad about GMO’s, let me enlighten you.
Certain crops were modified, genetically, to come up with some that could withstand super toxic herbicides, like Roundup. Our old nemesis, Monsanto, has been at the forefront of this movement. They could sell more Roundup if crops could withstand being saturated with it while killing weeds. Usually, Roundup kills everything it comes in contact with.
So they tinkered with the genetic makeup of various big money crops—soy, corn, wheat, and others, and managed to come up with crops that can withstand heavy herbicides.
And what’s so bad about that? We don’t know all, but there’s a known risk for sterility, birth defects, hormone disruption and cancer. Plus, all those herbicides and the pesticides also sprayed on are beset with heavy metals. That means a much higher risk for Alzheimer’s and even heart disease.
As if it’s not bad enough already, the overuse of Roundup has created “superweeds” that have developed a resistance to Roundup. Therefore, the agricultural companies dump even more extremely toxic herbicides on them, to kill those weeds. That’s exposing the public to even MORE toxicity.
They modified the crops, and immediately put them on the market, with no idea whether they were dangerous to our health or not (or caring, really). There was no testing period. There is much we still don’t know about foods that are genetically modified. It could be worse than we know now.
As of right now, food producers are NOT required to label their foods GMO. We have to guess! And we really have no way of knowing, except it’s a given that soy, corn and wheat ARE GMO. In fact, 90% of the corn on the market at any given time is genetically modified. Even 90% of the enzymes used in high fructose corn syrup are GMO. And high fructose corn syrup is in SO much processed foods and beverages on the market!
Think about all the processed foods using one or more of those. That’s bread, flour, corn meal, pasta, tofu, tortillas, corn bread, grits, and on and on.
But they’ve been experimenting with other crops too, so there are undoubtedly MORE GMO foods we’re consuming, unknowingly.
Isn’t it fun being a guinea pig?
There is an effort underway now, in some states, to require all food companies to label their foods as being GMO, if indeed it is. Right now, foods that contain NO GMO products, label themselves NON-GMO. These products are found mostly in health food stores or the organic section of supermarkets. READ LABELS! If you don’t see NON or NO GMO anywhere on the package, count on it being a GMO product.
Conventional Non-GMO Foods
There are also regular conventional foods that are not GMO. They too, for the most part, have been sprayed with pesticides, just not Roundup. Not only that, but, as with GMO crops, they have been grown in chemically fertilized soil.
Sometimes, pesticides can be washed off. But it’s not easy to get it all off, and some things, like tomatoes, absorb the pesticides. And it can’t all be washed off. Always buy organic tomatoes!
Of course, there’s nothing you can do about the chemical fertilizer. The crops contain some residue of chemicals.
And unless it’s labeled Organic, frozen and canned fruits and vegetables have a good dose of pesticide in them. And, if you need to get organic tomatoes, it goes without saying you need organic spaghetti sauce, tomato sauce, tomato paste, ketchup, salsa—anything with tomato in it. And there are other fruits and vegetables that tend to absorb pesticides. You can count on anything with a softer rind or shell absorbing it–like peaches, for instance. The list is easy to find on the internet.
All the fruits and vegetables you can wash SHOULD be washed. If nothing else, think about who might have picked that spinach or apple, and where their hands might have been……
One effective way to wash away pesticides, waxes and bacteria from produce is with a vinegar wash. Oh, you can always buy the expensive stuff from the health food store, but a vinegar wash is equally effective, and much less expensive. Use white vinegar, with a ratio of 10 parts water to one of vinegar. My usual wash is 5 cups of water to ½ cup vinegar.
There’s no need to rinse, unless you just want to, because there’s no vinegar taste left on the produce.
Check the next post for more information about organic food! I’ll tell you how and where to get it, and how to save money doing it.
In the mean time, let me know which organic foods you are using or considering below in the comments.