Organic food — A wise choice

Published 9:32 am Wednesday, December 20, 2017

He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herbs for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth…Psalm 104:14

The following information is taken from a book I found at a second-hand bookstore entitled Practically Raw by Amber Shea Crawley. This book goes into great detail about the advantage of eating practically raw vegetables and its health benefits. One of the topics of interests in the book is about buying organic whenever possible. So here goes.

Organic food tends to be more expensive than conventionally grown food, but the truth is that it’s worth the price. Organic produce and other ingredients are grown without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), or ionizing radiation (all potential dangers to our health). Organic farmers tend to emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations. On top of all that, organic produce has been found to have higher concentrations of vitamins, minerals, and disease-fighting antioxidants and phytochemicals than conventionally grown produce. Most of the time it simply tastes better.

The produce you find at farmers markets may or may not be organic regardless of whether the farm has USDA organic certification; simply ask the farmer about their growing methods or use of pesticides before buying.

Since organic farming is typically more labor-and cost-intensive, and is not subsidized by the U.S. government, we as consumers must pay a little extra for our organic food. Certain crops are more heavily sprayed with pesticides than others, and are thus more important to buy organic (the “dirty” dozen). On the other hand, another group of vegetables (the “clean” fifteen) retain little to no pesticide residue, so you can feel comfortable saving some dollars there by buying conventional.

The following is a list of vegetables called the “dirty dozen” to buy organic whenever possible, as they tend to be heavily sprayed with chemicals: apples, blueberries (domestic), celery, grapes (imported), kale, lettuce, nectarines (imported), peaches, potatoes, spinach, strawberries and sweet bell peppers.

The “clean” fifteen vegetables are these that tend to retain little or no pesticide residue. These include asparagus, avocados, cabbage, cantaloupe, eggplant, grapefruit, kiwifruit, mangoes, mushrooms, onions, pineapples, sweet corn, sweet peas, sweet potatoes and watermelon.

So folks, I think the above information will be helpful in deciding the type of food to buy. Some of the grocery stores carry certified organic produce. Look for the USDA certified organic produce seal. Stores like Kroger and Food Lion have an organic section, so check these out.

I hope this information has been helpful. Until next time.

Alice Russell, also known as “Me Me,” is a guest columnist who resides in the Randolph/Saxe area. She can be reached at

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