Some Organic Matters More Than Others ~ The Garden of Eating - a sinfully good blog about food

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Some Organic Matters More Than Others

The NYTimes just published an interesting little article called Five Easy Ways To Go Organic. They suggest being strategic in your choices about which organic products to buy as some have a larger impact on both your health and the health of the planet than others.

They recommend prioritizing the following organic products:

1. Milk (and other dairy products, too, no doubt). Avoid factory farming, chemical farming, hormones, antibiotics and pesticides all in one blow!

2. Potatoes. This one surprised me. Apparently, conventionally-farmed potatoes are one of the most highly pesticide contaminated veggies around. 81% still contained pesticides after being washed and peeled!

3. Peanut butter. More acres are devoted to peanuts than any other fruit or vegetable and 99% of them are conventionally farmed which includes using fungicides to combat mold. I think they included this partly because kids eat so much peanut butter.

4. Ketchup. This one seems a bit less important to me as the Times included it partly because it constitutes a vegetable in many American households but if you're reading this blog, chances are you don't consider ketchup a vegetable... However, they did note that organic ketchup has about twice the antioxidant content of conventional ketchup.

5. Apples. As anyone who remembers Alar can tell you, apples have high levels of pesticides compared to many other fruits and veggies. They're also one of the most commonly eaten fruits.


Julie M said...

I haven't read the NYT article yet, but I'm a bit surprised not to see eggs on the list. Like milk, they are a simple way to ease into the organic food world. They taste better and supposedly are much more nutritious.

Maggie said...

In the late 1980's alar was being used on only about 15% of the apple trees in the US. Science has proven many times over that the concerns were unwarranted and alar or actually the substance in alar of concern, UDMH was not harmful. A child would have actually had drink 19,000 quarts of juice produced from alar treated apples to possibly have a risk. The cost of all of this: $250 million lost by apple orchard proprietors; $125 million lost by apple product manufacturers; and $15 million lost by U.S. taxpayers via the Dept. of Agriculture, not to mention the devastating losses to small farms around the nation. It's easy to fall for the hype of a story. Going organic matters, but to be truly responsible in going organic, the science behind such stories should be understood as well.

Eve Fox said...

To be fair to the article, they did not mention alar, that was all me (the hype made quite an impression on me as a little kid).