Is organic really healthy? There are too many who vouch for the “organicness” of their product. There are many processed food available in the market with organic label. They contain a few organic farms produce (maybe) and then fried, baked, or deep-fried. The food is processed but contains a few organic veggies like cabbages, tomatoes, onions as garnish. There are some avocados, zucchinis in the mix. Is it really organic food at the end?
Fast food will stay as “fast food” even with however many organic veggies are put into it. It will only fool your mind into eating veggies but increase your cholesterol just as much they do without veggies. Shifting to wholesome organic food is tough and leaving fast food behind entirely is near impossible.
With too much hullabaloo about organic food, clean 15, and the dirty dozen, you would go jittery and simply switch to your old habit of munching on unhealthy foodstuff. What is organic food? Organic food is fruits and vegetables produced through organic farming processes without chemicals. It sounds healthy but way more expensive. Is it wise to leave conventionally grown farm produce and switch entirely? Eating healthy food can help you reduce the times you visit a doctor. But your wallet may suffer.
Clean 15 and the dirty dozens are some trendy words you might be hearing from your health-conscious friends. What are these terms? Let’s clear your confusion.
What Is Clean 15?
Clean 15 are fruits and vegetables that are okay to eat, no matter how they are produced, whether organically or with conventional methods. You can close your eyes and buy from wherever, without much effect on your health. The clean 15 foods are as follows –
- Sweet corn
- Sweet peas
- Honeydew melon
Some fruits and vegetables absorb a lot of pesticides. Pesticides are meant to kill pests on the farm. But end up affecting the farm produce. The clean 15 lists are the vegetables and fruits that do not absorb too many pesticides or chemicals. It’s okay for you to consume this without minding where you bought them from.
Read Also: What is Organic Farming
What Is Dirty Dozen?
Dirty Dozen, on the other hand, absorbs a lot of pesticides. It is not safe to eat the conventionally produced farm produce for these fruits and vegetables. Check out dirty dozen fruits and vegetables for 2021.
- Kale, collard, mustard greens
- Sweet Bell Peppers
It’s better to go for certified organic farm produce for this list of vegetables and fruits. Organic fruits and vegetables are produced without any chemicals. The pests are killed using organic methods like using pesticides made from herbs, utilizing traps, and using insects that are good for plant growth. They do not absorb chemicals or harmful substances and are healthy for consumption.
If your grocery list includes veggies and fruits from the dirty dozen list, halt your shopping a bit and look for an organic alternative for them. There are many organic farms produce available in the market with organic labels. If you are unsure of their authenticity, you can move to the organic section of farm produce. The fruits and vegetables in this section are a bit expensive than regular food, but they are healthy.
For buying dirty dozen fruits and vegetables, you should opt from the organic section, lest you consume a ton of chemicals and none of the essential nutrients. Another option for you is to order them online. We, at Greenfields Organics, produce organic fruits and vegetables, employing various organic farming processes. We ensure the quality of the veggies and fruits to be chemical-free and fresh as we sell them as soon as they are harvested.
And The More Or Less Okay-Ish Veggies And Fruits
Clean 15 are farm produce that is okay to consume, whether organic or conventional. Dirty dozen are farm produce that you should only buy organic.
And there is another category that you can leave to your discretion (or rather your budget). These vegetables and fruits do not absorb too many chemicals like dirty dozen. And also, not too less like clean 15. These farm products are in the somewhat gray zone. Check out this list of vegetables and fruits moderately affected by chemicals.
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Hot Peppers
- Green Beans
- Snap Peas
- Winter Squashes
- Summer Squashes*
- Sweet Potatoes
Question Of The Year: Why Is Organic So Expensive?
Most people hesitate to buy organic farm products. The reason being their high prices.
You cannot purchase expensive vegetables to cook daily food. You may buy expensive fruits once a week. But doing so regularly is sure to exceed your monthly budget.
Organic farm products are expensive because
- Producing it is labor-intensive
- The supply is too low
Like every commodity in the market, supply and demand also play a role here. There aren’t many farmers who opt for organic farming practices. This is more expensive and also requires expertise. It is not easy for small farmers to invest in organic farming. It is riskier, and they may end up losing more. Small segments of farmers are moving to this practice slowly. However, the number is still minuscule. Hence, the lower supply and high prices.
Organic farming is labor-intensive. It requires a lot of effort to grow farm products. Farmers have to be active from preparing the soil, taking care of the plant, to harvesting them. Also, using organic methods to drive away pests. These activities increase the cost of growing organic food compared to conventional farming methods. Hence, organic food is expensive.
How To Move To A Healthy Diet Without Harming Your Budget?
It’s future medical bills or today’s monthly budget. It’s either cholesterol or an active lifestyle. Obviously, most people will choose a healthy diet begrudgingly. But there are ways to keep your kitchen bills under control, even with organic food.
- Buy more clean 15 veggies and fruits from markets. It is okay to consume conventional alternatives since they do not absorb too many chemicals. It is relatively safer.
- Buy fewer dirty dozens or buy them from the organic farm produce section.
- Choose vegetables and fruits that absorb a moderate amount of chemicals (the gray zone) to balance your nutrient uptake.
- Buy from the farmers’ market. You can save costs when you directly buy from the farmers.
- Join community-supported agricultural farms.
- Grow your own veggies in gardens.
- Order select few organic foods from organic farm produce sellers.
- Buy in season. Fruits and vegetables are not available in all seasons. Know what season they are available and buy around that time. (For instance, you purchase cabbages or cauliflowers during summer. They are tasty, and you might crave a good dish out of it but leave them behind. It’s not the season for them to grow. And probably a lot of chemicals have gone into growing them. A large and brightly colored vegetable is a telltale sign of additives.)
Organic farming was introduced as a response to the intensive use of fertilizers and pesticides leading to environmental degradation. Owing to this constant exposure of the farm produce to pesticides, the quality and taste were compromised. Encouraged by an instinct to ensure the wellbeing of every single being on the planet, we begin GFO.