Once you have established your options of plant based proteins, carbs and fats available, it is now time to think organic. Not only do healthy food choices matter, but the way the foods are grown in safe soil is also equally important. Since questions about food safety, nutrition and sustainability all make a difference on your health and the environment, organically grown produce is very important.
The term “organic” refers to the way in which agricultural products are grown and processed. There is an absence of synthetic pesticides, GMOs and chemical fertilizers when growing organic produce. These safe practices make organically grown produce a much better option than the conventionally agricultured produce.
When on a plant based diet, try to include as much organic produce into your meals as possible since this produce contains fewer pesticides, is grown in safe soil and the food itself is fresher. The freshness of organic products can be attributed to the absence of preservatives that may otherwise make conventionally grown produce last longer.
While buying all organic is definitely better, there are certain foods where the organic label matters the most. These fruits and vegetables have been recorded to show the highest levels of pesticide residue on them when grown conventionally, so it is highly recommended to buy these products organic.
These foods include the following:
- Sweet Bell Peppers
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Summer Squash
- Kale/Collard Greens
- Hot Peppers
Sourced from The Dirty Dozen EWG
Remember that although rinsing does reduce pesticides, it does not eliminate them completely. At the same time, while peeling may help, it also strips off important nutrients with the skin. So the best thing is to eat a varied diet, scrub and wash all produce thoroughly and opt for organic produce when possible.
It is true that organic foods can be more expensive than traditionally grown food, but costs can be kept in check if you decide to shop at local farmers’ markets where fresh produce is directly sold. Plus, fruits and vegetables are the freshest and cheapest when in season so buy in season.
Buying organic may also be the right thing to do as it means eating healthy. This can be seen as a preventive measure since eating organic means being spared consuming foods that have been packed with pesticides and other sprays.
This practice itself can save money that may otherwise be spent on medication and is worth the long term investment for you and your family.