Do you ever walk through a grocery store, notice all the ‘organic’ food options and wonder what the big difference was besides the higher price?
The term ‘organic’ refers to the way farmers grow their fruits, vegetables, and other produce items that you’ll find at your local grocery. Organic farming excludes or strictly limits the use of manufactured fertilizers, pesticides, plant growth regulators such as hormones, livestock antibiotics, food additives, and genetically modified organisms. In lieu of these manufactured chemicals, natural fertilizers such as manure or compost are used as well as natural organisms to control pests. Furthermore, organic farming promotes healthy use of the soil and is considered more environmentally friendly.
The immediate benefit to you and I is that we are eating fruits and vegetables that are chemical-free, and by buying organic, we’re also doing our part to preserve our environment for our children.
There aren’t any nutritional differences between organic and non-organic fruits and vegetables–an apple would have the same amount of vitamins and minerals regardless of how it was grown. The jury is still out on whether or not there are long-term health benefits of eating chemical-free fruits and vegetables. I personally do not want any additives and chemicals in my food that I do not have intimate knowledge of.
Money doesn’t grow on trees, so if you want the best bang for your buck and want to go organic, buy organic fruits and veggies that have thin outer skins such as grapes and tomatoes. You’re much better off buying the organic versions of grapes, tomatoes, and other produce that have thin outer membranes because they don’t have as thick of a barrier to protect from chemicals. For the thicker-skinned fruits such as oranges and grapefruits, you can save some money and just buy the regular versions. If you go with the regular version, I would suggest peeling off the outer skin before eating.