Various fruits sliced

I always wondered why Whole Foods was more expensive than discount grocery stores (Aldi, Cermak Market, Fairplay, etc). I thought the produce HAD to be the same. Isn’t an apple an apple? Doesn’t all beef/chicken/fish taste the same? Don’t they all have the same biological makeup? Well, little did I know I was SO wrong. Like many people I didn’t care too much about where my food came from let alone if it was organic, had pesticides, or all that other “mumbo jumbo” until a health scare came my way. Precancerous cells were found during a routine pap and I had to get them removed. Of course, my initial feeling was shock, then I cried and immediately thought the worst; then I took action. I began doing as much research as I could to change my lifestyle. One topic kept popping up; food. The importance of the QUALITY of the food we ingest has a direct correlation to the quality of our organ systems, our cells, and in turn our quality of life.

So, what is organic food? To state it simply, organic food is and MUST be free of synthetic (fake or man made) chemicals.When chemical fertilizers, such as pesticides, made their way onto the scene, farmers began to realize that they could grow much more food with far less effort. These chemicals could kill the pests that once damaged their precious crops. Originally, this seemed like a great plan, that is until scientists began research of these chemicals on both children and adult humans. It’s been found that children’s bodies can’t properly remove the chemicals through food and tend to eat more produce per pound of body weight compared to adults. By eating several contaminated produce a day, children are exposed to roughly 15 pesticides per day. However, you can reduce this by 90% by simply eating more non-contaminated foods.

Pesticides have been linked to the contribution of the following:

  • Cancer
  • Fertility problems
  • Brain tumors
  • Childhood leukemia
  • Hormone problems
  • Nervous system damage

Scary right? But at the same time, who can afford to eat ALL organic? The main issue most American’s have with buying/eating organic is the cost. However, this list below is a compilation of the foods that are MOST contaminated, so maybe we start here:

  1. Peaches
  2. Apples
  3. Bell peppers
  4. Celery
  5. Nectarines
  6. Strawberries
  7. Cherries
  8. Pears
  9. Grapes (imported)
  10. Spinach

Here is a list of the LEAST contaminated:

  1. Onion
  2. Avocado
  3. Sweet Corn (Frozen)
  4. Pineapples
  5. Mangos
  6. Asparagus
  7. Kiwi
  8. Peas (Frozen)
  9. Bananas
  10. Cabbage

So, the choice is yours. If you have the ability to buy just a few items organic, why not? Another great option is to visit local farmers markets. Farmers markets produce not only travels a short distance to get to us, thus causing less pollution, but it also stimulates our own local economy. Now, buying organic AND local would be an even better feat. And to answer my own question, yes,organicĀ  is SO worth it! Do you have a similar experience to share? Do you buy organic? Are you yay or nay? I would love to hear from you.

*This information comes from my own knowledge, experience, and*