Many experts agree that we all carry genetic and metabolic weaknesses. Certainly we all are bombarded by potentially harmful bacteria, viruses, fungi, and toxins. In addition to this people in general are eating more high-fat, high-sugar, low-fiber foods, and more processed food than ever before and the result is showing in our high rates of obesity and disease. All of these things combine to lower our immunity to harmful opportunistic agents in the environment. Here are some of the reasons to decide on organic produce;
- 1. According to the Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, there are currently over six hundred pesticides used in the United States. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finds 64 of these to be carcinogenic.
- 2. Many pesticides have been banned in the United States but are sent to other countries such as Mexico for use on produce. Much of that produce finds its way back to the US.
- 3. Pesticide residue levels in food are monitored by both state and federal regulatory agencies. But there is increasing concern about the adequacy of these monitoring programs. The Food and Drug Agency (FDA) is responsible for enforcing EPA limits, but it has been proven to fall short in several ways: 1. less than 1% of our domestic food supply is screened, 2. the FDA does not test for all pesticides, and 3. the FDA doesn’t prevent the marketing of foods that it finds to contain illegal residues.
- 4. The FDA and the PDA find excessive pesticide residues in 3% of domestic and 6% of foreign produce, but other organizations find much higher levels. For example, seventy-one fruits and vegetables were tested in San Francisco and 44% were found to have detectable levels of nineteen different pesticides.
- 5. The sheer number and quantity of pesticides used on certain produce is amazing: 50 types on broccoli, 110 on apples, and 70 on bell peppers. Many of the pesticides permeate the entire fruit or vegetable and can’t be washed off.
Clearly, if you care about your health, it is better to buy organic produce. Organic is more expensive than other produce, but there are some cost-saving measures you can take. Vegetarian Times has some great ideas:
- 1. Go to a farm stand or farmers’market. Buy produce in season. Food is cheapest in the peak of the season. It’s best for you too when it’s at its freshest.
- 2. Freeze what you don’t eat right away. It’s a real bargain off season, and it’s convenient and easy to use. Frozen produce can be blended to make great smoothies.
- 3. Grow you own produce. If you have the space for an outside garden, there are disease-resistant, high-yield veggies such as tomatoes, bell peppers, eggplant, peas, and bush beans. Some types of veggies like spinach, kale, and Swiss chard can produce all year long. If you only have a windowsill, herbs don’t take up much space and are easy to grow.
- 4. Buy in bulk and can your produce. Canning is easy, economical, and the taste is superior to anything you can buy in a store. It takes a little time to can, but if you have the time, the results are more than worth it.
If you’re reading this, you have an interest in vegetarianism or veganism. Go one step further, go organic. For superb health, take it one step further and do a vegan cleanse.
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