Six Organic Foods You Should Buy … And Six You Shouldn’t – The Sun
MORE of us are turning to organic food in the belief that it is better for us.
Four in five households in the UK choose organic fruits, vegetables, poultry and dairy products, according to the Soil Association.
The organic food industry was worth £ 1.79 billion last year – with half of parents choosing to buy organic baby food.
But why is all this noise so much better for us? If you don’t want to eat nasty chemicals, the answer is YES.
The pesticides used to grow our food include nerve poisons, carcinogens, and “gender inflectors,” which can disrupt our reproductive health and cause problems such as infertility.
The government assures us that at low levels they do us no harm. But we all swallow additives, the meat of genetically modified farm animals, or foods that have been processed in a highly industrial way.
In today’s cash-strapped society, it can be difficult to buy organic.
Here, food journalist and author JOANNA BLYTHMAN reveals the essential organic products – and what is not so vital.
According to scientific studies, organic WHOLE cow’s milk contains more health-promoting omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E than non-organic milk.
One of them found the omega-3 levels to be 68% higher.
Other research, funded by the Dutch government, showed that children who consumed organic dairy products had a 36% lower risk of eczema by the age of two.
CONVENTIONAL fungi are treated with fungicides and insecticides.
Chemical disinfectants, such as chlorine, are also commonly used to sterilize fungus shelters between growth cycles.
Organic growers are not allowed to use these chemicals and must steam clean their sheds.
Organically grown mushrooms cost only slightly more than conventional mushrooms.
NON-ORGANIC oil is extracted at high temperatures, destroying its natural goodness, in a process that uses a chemical solvent.
The oil is then chemically bleached and deodorized, and two controversial preservatives, BHA and BHT, are added as a preservative. Some research links them to cancer.
Organic oils are not extracted at high temperature and mainly cold pressed. They cannot be bleached, and all deodorization must be done with steam. No solvent or preservative is allowed.
NON-ORGANIC pork typically comes from pigs fed genetically modified soybeans, but feeding studies in laboratory animals show that GM foods can be toxic.
For example, rats fed GM tomatoes developed gastric lesions.
No trials have been done to show whether consuming meat from GMO-fed animals can affect human health – but if you’d rather not be a guinea pig, go organic.
Organic standards prohibit feeding livestock on GM rations.
CONVENTIONAL farmers can legally use up to 320 pesticides.
About a third of all the conventionally grown food we eat contains residues, while almost half of our fruits and vegetables are contaminated.
Peppers are one of the worst vegetables for pesticide contamination.
Organic farmers can only use six pesticides, and in a very limited way, so organic food almost never contains traces. In recent years, no residue has been found in organic peppers.
LIKE many processed foods, yogurt often contains chemical additives to give it the wrong color, flavor and consistency.
There are 329 chemical additives – some of them very controversial for health reasons – allowed in non-organic foods.
These include sweetener aspartame, MSG flavor, and tartrazine in an artificial yellow color.
Organic food processors can only use 32 additives.
They must come from natural sources – like the vitamin C in lemon juice.
ORGANIC eggs should come from hens that feed on grass, so they are likely to have higher levels of anti-cancer CLA fatty acid than eggs from caged hens fed grain and soy.
But since free-range hens have access to the outdoors, their eggs can also be a good source of CLA – and they’re a bit cheaper than organic produce.
WHITE breads are less nutritious than brown bread because they do not contain wheat bran and germ, which provide vitamins and minerals.
But if this is the type of bread you eat, there is less reason to buy organic.
Most of the pesticide residues left in wheat are either removed during flour milling or destroyed during cooking.
But organic bread – white or not – won’t contain the additives you find in most non-organic breads.
MOST of the salmon on sale – organic or non-organic – comes from caged fish.
Organic salmon scores more points for animal welfare because the fish are less crowded and have more room to swim.
But there is no nutritional difference between the more expensive organic salmon and its non-organic equivalent.
It’s a super healthy food loaded with disease-fighting vitamins C and E and beta-carotene, but there’s no reason to go organic for health.
All watercress is naturally grown in shallow beds in a gentle flow of clean spring water.
For most other salad greens, however, pesticide residue is a very real concern, so organic can be worth the extra pennies.
Dry pasta is made only from durum wheat flour and water.
Since the wheat used is ground to remove the outer layer, it is highly unlikely that the pasta will contain pesticide residues.
So organic dried pasta may not be at the top of your list if you are on a budget.
But if you buy fresh egg pasta, the organic versions will most likely contain fewer unwanted additives, such as artificial flavors and preservatives.
MOST British and New Zealand lamb – organic or otherwise – comes from sheep that graze outside on rough pastures, so all lambs are a rich source of heart disease and cancer-fighting fatty acids.
Since lamb can be expensive, going with the non-organic option makes the cost much more manageable.
To save a bit of money, buy the tasty but cheaper ‘side’ cuts, such as scrag, shank, brisket, and mince.