Eating Organic: is it Really Worth it?

So you’ve probably heard “organic is better”... but it is also generally more expensive. 😳 You might be wondering - is it really worth it?!

Let’s look at a few benefits of organic.

Organic is more nutritious. A study found that organic foods have 20-40% more antioxidants than their conventional counterparts. Why? For one, plants make these compounds to protect themselves against insects or diseases. Because organic crops aren't protected by chemical pesticides, they have evolved to be heartier (and have more antioxidants). Secondly, they aren't getting as much fertilizer. More heavily fertilized conventional crops might grow faster and get bigger, but because of this, their nutrients may get diluted.

It’s better for the environment - Organic foods are significantly better for the planet. The organic agricultural system avoids synthetic fertilizers and pesticides which is better for waterways, soil, air, wildlife, farm workers, and the climate. It also promotes a more biodiverse ecosystem.

Eating organic can promote longer term health. An observational study looked at 70,000 French adults over 7 years and found the ones who had the highest consumption of organic foods had a 25% reduced risk of cancer. This seems to be clearly correlated with the fact that conventional foods can be pesticide-laden (glyphosate, malathion, and diazinon are the 3 most common chemicals) - which are known carcinogens to humans.

Here at CLEAN.FIT, we do feel pretty strongly about the fact that organic really is likely much better for us, and while it might be a little more expensive in the short-run, it should help promote health in the long-term (which of course is a huge money and time-savings, just to name a few!). Now, we also believe in balance… Don’t stress if you can’t eat 100% organic all the time (that would be REALLY difficult for lots of reasons!) - but instead, try to gradually swap out some of your food staples for organic versions.

Also, eating organic doesn’t have to be financially overwhelming!

Here are 5 ways that we have found can help balance cost & quality.

1️⃣ Know what to buy organic (and what you might not need to). Check out the Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 lists, published by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) that can guide you between which produce is most- and least-likely to be pesticide laden. This can help you prioritize what’s worth spending a little more on.

2️⃣ Stock up on canned and frozen. Canned and frozen is usually just as or almost as nutritious as fresh! It’s also often much cheaper than fresh too. There is no shame in stocking up your pantry/freezer game!

3️⃣ Hit up your local farmers market. Farmers markets are usually cheaper than the grocery store. Plus, it’s usually fresher because it has less far to travel to get to you! On top of all that, you’re supporting local/small businesses 🙌

4️⃣ Join a co-op. This is like getting a farmer’s market delivered to your doorstep! Join a nearby co-op, or a CSA (“Community Supported Agriculture”) to get fresh, seasonal, organic produce, often for a fraction of the cost. Find a local CSA here. You’ll likely get to try different fruits and veggies that you wouldn’t normally shop for - which is great for diet diversity!

5️⃣ Go for the “ugly” stuff. Companies like Misfits Market or Imperfect Foods have made a brilliant business out of re-selling the “ugly” fruits and veggies, that for whatever reason don’t look like the “ideal” shape of said produce. There is NOTHING at all wrong with them, of course - that’s the beautiful way nature created them! The cost is usually cheaper through these services.

Hopefully these tips were helpful (and HEALTHFUL 🤪)! Stay tuned for more information on why pesticides are so bad for you, coming soon 😊

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