Should you go gaga over organic produce?

People can easily go bananas on this topic. It’s definitely not easy to know who or what to listen to. The whole debate on whether or not to buy organic produce has been going on for a good while. For you, my precious readers, I would like to add my two cents into the debate today.

When you buy organic, you do skip the pesticides and many chemicals that otherwise ends up in your body, unnecessarily taxing your system. Moreover, you do your share in helping the industry become better and more health-focused. Thirdly, the taste is definitely more intense.

My biggest issue with organic food is simply the price – it is (especially here in Switzerland) a lot more expensive to buy seemingly the same stuff as you would otherwise, just with another label on it. The way I do it, is to buy organic versions of the items I use most often, like eggs and certain vegetables (see below).

When it comes to organic/ecologically produced/bio (as the swiss say) meat, there is one specific thing you should be aware of: Make sure that the animal has eaten what they are supposed to eat before being slaughtered! A wonderful example I saw at a restaurant somewhere was “organic Salmon*”. The star led to a one liner about where the farm was and how the salmon had been fed with corn! To my knowledge, and please correct me if I am wrong, salmon in the wild have never been able to jump up to a corn field for their next snack, making this a less-than-ideal example of “organic farming”. So, in short, a farm can still be considered to have organic standards, but that doesn’t make the meat healthier if they are fed with the wrong stuff. This causes, amongst other things, that the amount of Omega 6 fatty acids is much higher than it should be in the meat, making us unaware of what we are actually nourishing our bodies with.

To move over to fruit, vegetables and berries, there are certain products that you should buy the organic version of, and some that you can buy as normal with good conscience (and save a few rappen/cent/pennies/öre).

What you should be looking out for here are the “Dirty Dozen”, which is a good judgement of which vegetables, fruits and berries that absorb the most amount of pesticides and chemicals. These should as far as possible be bought organic! The 12 products on this list (apples, peaches,bell peppers/paprika, potatoes, blueberries, spinach, celery, strawberries, cucumbers, grapes, lettuce and nectarines) all have one thing in common; their skin is very thin and fragile, making them more susceptible to pesticides and other harmful stuff. It has been shown that you can drastically reduce your exposure to toxins by a whopping 80% by only choosing the organic version of these.

What about your good conscience/money saving list, then? The “Clean Fifteen” are fine to be bought un-organic, their skins are thicker, making them more resistible toward toxins. Asparagus, mango, avocado, onion, cabbage, mushroom, cantaloupe, pineapple, corn, sweet pea, eggplant/aubergine, sweet potato, grapefruit, watermelon, kiwi are the members of the “Clean Fifteen”.


Now I want to hear from YOU: do you buy organic things? If so, are there special products you make sure to buy organic?

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