About four years ago I started making small steps to eat more organic food, especially produce. Prior to this I was assuming that all produce was the same produce and no reason to spend more, right? Wrong. Organic food is more expensive yes, but are you willing to risk your health for an item that is a dollar more? I will admit, on average I spend about $20 more at the grocery store buying organic food, however I do find it curious that our country has seen more disease, especially in children than ever before.

We have become a country of instant gratification. We no longer wait for seasonal foods and few participate in promoting local resources. Did you know that the produce you eat travels an average of 12,000 miles? In the last century we have become more lazy, more overweight and more stressed than any other time in our history. And we are all about convenience.

Eating organic guarantees that you won’t be ingesting unhealthy residues like: Mercury, radio active particles, PCBs, carcinogens, nerve posion’s and pesticides all of which are used on our fresh produce to kill weeds, insects, fungicides, rats and mice. Not to mention for the last fifty years getting into our water supply and mother earth herself. As soon as you start brestfeeding your child is now exposed to these harmful products. Kids are at greatest risk because most parents encourage fruit and vegetable consumption not realizing that fruit is the most contaminated produce at the super market. With neurological systems that are still developing it’s no wonder that kids suffer from things like  A.D.D, A.D.H.D, autism, and many other ailments. Even more assuring, or rather alarming is that chemicals used in the United States are constantly evolving and the time from use to actually banning a product is typically too late. And we have all heard about DDT. It is no longer used in the United States but can and IS USED overseas where it can LEGALLY enter into the US.

What you can do to avoid toxic produce

1) Support your local farmer first and foremost.

Reduce that carbon footprint and become less reliable on the food that travels to infinity and beyond. In an effort to produce more stuff, make more stuff cheaper and reap huge profts, the government and large corporations do inconceivable things to seeds, produce and land to meet an unsustainable demand. Support your community and put those dollars back where it counts. Remember your dollars get recirculated on average 5 times over just for simply buying locally.

2) Don’t go unprotected it’s dangerous!

If you cannot afford to buy all organic produce opt to buy regular fruits and veggies with skins. Oranges, bananas, onions, garlic…any thing that can be peeled will be safer as long as it is washed. Take unscented dish soap and wash the item BEFORE you peel it. Then peel it open and enjoy. But do remember that the soil, water and pesticides could have been absorbed while the plant was growing…so organic is always a safer bet.

3) Naked food should be organic food

A potato peel has an average of 30% more pesticide than a peeled potato, unless it is organic. The number goes up if the item has been waxed like a cucumber or apple. Wax can contain fungicide and holds pesticides and other chemicals hostage on your produce, essentially sealing it in with no way to remove it, no matter how much you wash that cucumber! Lettuce, cilantro, potato’s, carrots…anything without a skin that is not peeled should be organic.

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Images: Toxic foods, organic authority, aquafm.com, peas in a blog