The Great Debate

Organic vs. Non-organic.  It’s the million dollar question.  Non-organic produce is prettier and bigger and doesn’t have bugs in it. BUT it’s been sprayed with poison.  Organic produce is usually more expensive, smaller, uglier, and often has little worms or bugs, but no toxins.  The scary thing for me is that we don’t know what kind of damage pesticides are doing to us. Are they causing cancers or other physical and mental ailments?  We just don’t know…  There are lots of differing opinions out there and it is an evolving issue in that pesticide regulations and FDA regulations keep changing and we keep finding out more.  I’m reading Dr. Weil’s book right now (on my sidebar) and he is all about whole foods, so I was curious to see what he said.

On page 58: “What about pesticide residues? Should [we] be worried? In a word, yes.”  He goes on to explain about the heavy chemicals and poisons that are sprayed on crops and that we still don’t know the long term effects of them.  Although washing produce, even with soap or special pesticide removers (don’t waste your money) gets a little bit off the outside, many chemicals are sprayed on fruits and veggies during germination so it gets into the roots and into the flesh of the produce.  In this case there is no amount of peeling or washing that can get it out.

The good news is that many fruits and veggies are considered “clean”  in that the pesticides can’t get through the thick skins, or they are not sprayed while growing.  You might have heard of the “dirty dozen” and the “clean fifteen.”

Here they are:

Dirty Dozen (as in try to get these organic if you can)

  • Apples
  • Bell Peppers
  • Celery
  • Cherries
  • Imported Grapes (U.S. grown is ok)
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Potatos
  • Raspberries
  • Spinach
  • Strawberries

Clean Fifteen (limited exposure to pesticides)

  • Onions
  • Avocados
  • Sweet corn
  • Pineapples
  • Mango
  • Sweet peas
  • Asparagus
  • Kiwi fruit
  • Cabbage
  • Eggplant
  • Cantaloupe
  • Watermelon
  • Grapefruit
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Sweet onions

The summer is so amazing because of all the local farmers markets and fresh produce stands.  Local produce really does taste so much better. There is an organic farm just a mile from my house and their peaches are like candy.  I seriously couldn’t get enough and neither could my kids.  Grocery stores get lots of their produce from California or Florida or a million miles away, so they pick it before it’s ripe so it doesn’t spoil during the truck ride.

Here is a regular tomato from the grocery store:

And one from my garden (no spray):

Look how RED it is. I can guarantee you it was 10 times tastier.  And better for us.

Bottom line: Do what you can.  At least try to steer clear of the dirty dozen. Buy local or grow your own when possible.  Don’t stress about the rest.

The end.

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3 comments on “The Great Debate

  1. Carrie says:

    Seriously-tomatoes from the grocery store make me want to vomit. I want the real deal, home grown ones or nothing at all! I will have to keep the lists in mind because I know organic has got to be better but can’t bite the bullet on the prices…I thought this post was going to be about high fructose corn syrup when I saw your title. Have you blogged about that yet (I have been MIA for a few days so I may have missed it…) and if not what is your take on it? I have heard your body processes it the same way it does sugar so that isn’t the problem. The problem is that cancer “likes” h.f.c.s.? Something about cells can multiply quicker…I have no idea but I heard the c word and stuck my fingers in my ears and went: “lalalalala” so I couldn’t hear it. I really want to believe it isn’t bad for you because Simply Heinz (w/out h.f.c.s) is soooo not the same as the original…And by the way: I bought it buy mistake, not because I thought I should…I guess I shouldn’t have added that part because saying we had “Simply Heinz” makes me sound like I am trying to get h.f.c.s out of my life since it may be bad… 🙂

  2. Carrie says:

    …Two questions for you: 1.) Can I do a post with a link to your blog because I think it is such a great idea and I believe you so I am sure other people will too. You know those sites were you go: whatever I’m not listening to that person they don’t know (when they are saying something you don’t want to hear?) what they are talking about. I don’t get the feeling when I read your blog at all. Your blog gives off the “lets try to do better if we know better” vibe. Not the “you kind of suck that is why I am telling you this. Luckily I don’t because I know so much” vibe. 🙂 I am not saying that I have tons of people following my blog and that you will see a huge increase in your stats but I think that I may know some people that would really like what you are doing here. 🙂 Let me know.
    2.) I forgot what it was for a minute but now I remember! How do you get the cute little quilt patch things next to your comment-ers (I don’t know how else to say that…it is 12 and I should be in bed…) names? It is so cute!
    …One more question, just because I am starting to realize just how tired I am and I am feeling a little paranoid. Do you think suck is a bad word? My mom has made me paranoid about it (yes I am 35 and I just typed that)…Seriously I am going to stop rambling and go to bed…

  3. Granola Mom says:

    Carrie! Thanks for reading! Of course, please do spread the word and share my website- you can grab a button from this site (if you use wordpress) or from my personal blog if you use blogspot. The more we share the better- I want this to be more like we all learn from one another and share our great ideas of what works for us!

    I don’t really know how that patch shows up next to names…it just happened! haha.

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