The organic food movement has taken over the US food market, with organic labels showing up in grocery stores, restaurant menus, and news headlines. We’ve heard that organic foods are better for us, but many of us don't know why.
WHAT IS ORGANIC? Organic produce and meats are produced without the use of synthetic insecticides, herbicides, antibiotics, growth hormones, or medications. Organic farmers use natural fertilizers and practice methods such as crop rotation to control disease, pests and weeds among their products.
WHY DOES IT MATTER? Residues from traditional insecticides and herbicides can remain on many fruits and vegetables, and antibiotics and growth hormones accumulate in the muscles of the animals that become our meat. When we consume conventional produce and meats these chemicals and synthetic substances enter our bodies and can have damaging effects.
At My Kid's Lunch, we strive to produce the healthiest and best tasting meals, and this means incorporating as much organic produce and meat as possible. We even use vegetables grown in our own organic gardens!
HOW CAN I EAT ORGANIC AT HOME? Though the high demand for organic foods has driven prices down, organic food items often have higher prices than their conventional counterparts. Keep your food safe and your grocery costs down by following the rules of the DIRTY DOZEN and the CLEAN FIFTEEN.
DIRTY DOZEN: These fruits & vegetables have the highest pesticide residue and should be purchased organic whenever possible:
- domestic blueberries
- sweet bell peppers
- spinach, kale and collard greens
- imported grapes
THE CLEAN FIFTEEN: These fruits and vegetables have lower levels of pesticide residue and are fine to purchase non-organically
- sweet corn
- sweet peas
- kiwi fruit
- sweet potatoes
- sweet onions
If purchasing organic is out of your budget, thoroughly washing your fruits and vegetables can help get rid of harmful pesticide residue.