The Pros and Cons of Organic Foods

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December 4, 2012 by Allanah M. Pinhorn

Organic foods are a hot topic nowadays; even though pesticide and chemical free grown fruits and vegetables have been around for centuries organic is the buzzword of the decade.

I have to admit it drives me nuts when people get organic-fever and simply must buy every item, from deodorant to bananas, organic.

It’s not the sentiment that bothers me – it’s healthy to avoid undue exposure to chemicals – it’s the blind following that organic products receive; anything with even a quasi-green label or name is considered “better” by people who are undereducated about what to look for when going organic, green or healthy.

I worked on a variety of organic farms a few summers ago: it wasn’t fancy they simply just didn’t spray chemicals. We planted seeds, tended them, they grew and we harvested. Bam, organic.

It’s the large corporations who prey on the scared that bother me, who encourage you to follow the trend and buy things organic when you don’t need to: things that are perfectly safe regardless are marketed as better and get a price hike, or products that are lumped into the organic category because of some prejudgment by society: soy, vegetarian, tofu ice-cream etc. many of which have many chemicals and preservatives in them.

Organic farming is better for the environment, there’s no doubt about that. There are fewer chemicals on hand, animals on the farm are usually free-range and fed better quality food – if only because many organic farms are small-scale and local – and genetically modified crops are not allowed under current Canadian organic standards. Not to mention no pesticides being sprayed into the air we breath and the ground we toil on.

But, organic food spoils faster than non-organic and is more expensive. Many organic crops still contain some chemicals naturally, all-be-it not pesticides, and there is no conclusive data stating that organic food is more nutritious, safer or healthier than non-organic.

So, here are the foods you should and shouldn’t be buying organic – an educated consumer is a happy consumer:

Buy Organic:

  • Apples
  • Celery
  • Strawberries and cherries
  • Peaches
  • Spinach, Kale and Collard Greens
  • Nectarines
  • Grapes
  • Peppers
  • Potatoes
  • Blueberries
  • Lettuce
  • Coffee
  • Peanut Butter
  • Eggs

Do Not Buy Organic:

  • Bananas
  • Onions
  • Corn
  • Asparagus
  • Avocados
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Kiwis
  • Mangos
  • Pineapples
  • Eggplant
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Peas

Many of the items you should not be buying organic are the ones most heavily markets at your local grocery store, while a lot of the fruits and veggies you should be are harder to find organically grown. Ironic, isn’t it.

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About the Author

Allanah M. Pinhorn

Allanah M. Pinhorn

As a journalist and freelance writer, the author loves to wonder about the world. She loves to explore through travel, good food, books, information and love. She is curious, thoughtful and sometimes funny, often while being a dork. Originally from St. John's, Newfoundland, she lives with her fiancée, her crazy Border Collie-Blue Heeler mix, two cats and multiple scaled creatures in Kitchener, Ontario. She also loves food. Like a lot.

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