23: WHY SOURCE AND ORGANIC / BIO REALLY MATTERS? – Dirty Dozen & Clean Fifteen

Don’t panic, buy Organic.

”don’t panic, buy Organic” this statement will be absolutely enough for anyone who does not want to spend time reading this article. Simply, if you want to protect your body and keep healthy condition on right level go for Organic / Bio food or any product which is labeled this way. If you want to know more about this and be familiar why it is so important to check out what you really eat, what is going into your body keep going and read.

Why Organic / Bio really matters?
People always ask why I should care about if the food is Organic / Bio or not. They don’t trust. Mostly the older generation (parents, grandparents etc…) says that they grew on Non Organic / Bio products and they never had to care if the product was Organic / Bio or not. They were healthy all their life, all teeth and organs grew without any problem, they had 1,2,3…4 kids so on and so forth…:-) so why Organic / Bio matters? Well, they were also playing on the gardens instead of iPads, they were riding the horses instead of cars or spending 80% of their life outside and not at home or in the office, right? There is nothing wrong with that, every age or generation is different and it is natural progress but I just want to say, that world has changed.
We do not live in fairy tales and you may know that companies and farmers are using every year more and more pesticides and chemicals what support better, faster or higher cultivation of the products. The worst impact on product has definitely genetic modification (GMO) which can ensure longevity or nicer appearance of the food. Currently we can choose if we will buy Organic / Bio product, which is not on the one hand genetically modified and on the other hand has not been affected by chemicals or pesticides at least in a very negligible amount. Secondly we can go for conventionally-raised fruits and vegetables which are not Organic / Bio and also not GMO. The last product which we can find in our stores is GMO product. What does the GMO means anyway? I would try to explain it very simply on two examples. Tomatoes and corn. In regards of tomatoes they use the gens from arctic fishes for, which make them hardy and finally this can be the reason why person who is allergic to fishes has allergic reaction once he eats tomatoes. Yummy :-) Next thing is related to GMO corn, which has 56 times less magnesium or 437x less calcium than Organic / Bio corn. And I could continue. As I mentioned in – 5 Negatives of Raw Food – all of these factors significantly affect our long-term health and not to mention that the entire soil is affected, animals which eat grass are affected or even food has totally different features and nutrients at all. Another differences in regards of nutrients between Organic / Bio and Non Organic products you can find below.

Don’t panic, buy Organic.
What is the solution?
The solution is very simple. It is in the source of the food. You should definitely check out the source of your local products or simply go just for products which are labeled Organic / Bio as it should secure you, that product is not on the one hand genetically modified and on the other hand has not been affected by chemicals or pesticides. The Science of Skinny, by Dee McCaffrey (2012) says: “If the item does not have a sticker on it, just look at the sign for a four or five digit PLU number. If the item is conventionally grown, the number has four digits (4060 stands for Broccoli), however if the item is Organically grown, the number has five digits starting with a 9 (94060 for Organic broccoli). There’s also a third PLU option: A five digit number beginning with an 8, which indicates that the product you were holding has been genetically modified. Organically grown foods are not genetically modified.”To recognize in Europe if the product is Bio there should be always label with green Bio logo or sticker with one of these three codes – CZ-BIO-001, CZ-BIO-002, CZ-BIO-003.

For example my favorite shop in Canada in regards of Organic products is Organic Matters (OM), super prices and awesome quality, check it out – http://www.omfoods.com/.

Should I eat everything Organic / Bio?
Well, this is the best solution and especially if you are on raw food as me and Andrea, you should really watch out yourself, because cooking reduces levels of pesticides and…we don’t cook :-) We consider high quality food as a long-term investment to our health. And for example if you train hard in the gym, do any kind of sport, if you want to lose the weight or want to see the results you need to eat really properly. Because why you should eat 100g of conventionally-raised spinach even it is cheaper if you will get into your body much much less of nutrients. To get the same portion of iron in 100g of Organic / Bio spinach you need to eat at least 83x times more of 100g conventionally-raised spinach. And that is insane, right?! Moreover in the same time you will be also getting much much more of pesticides and chemicals (regarding conventionally-raised spinach). That’s why I would say 75% of the products we buy are Organic / Bio. As Peter Ragnar mentioned in one of his books – How To Build Muscle on a Raw Food Diet –“Do you realize the body you have today is a result of what you ate six months ago? I’ve read of scientists using radioisotopes that determine that you and I replace 98% of the molecules of our physical bodies within a year’s tim”. Think about it. :-)

Don’t panic, buy Organic.Can I afford to buy Organic / Bio products?
In regards of prices, there is always a way how you can deal with your budget, save some money and in the same time be able to buy food with significant quality. To help you out with the budget and also to recognize what kind of food should be really Organic / Bio there is a company called Environmental Working Group (EWG). This organization came with shoppers guide – Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen. You can download the pdf file from on their websites or go for free mobile application which can be always at the hand for you.

Website: http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/index.php

Application: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/dirty-dozen/id312336368?mt=8

What is Environmental Working Group?
EWG is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to protecting human health and the environment. EWG has published an annual guide to help people eat healthy and reduce their exposure to pesticides in produce. Armed with EWG’s Shopper’s Guide, millions of people have opted for those conventionally-raised fruits and vegetables that tend to test low for pesticide residues. When they want foods whose conventional versions test high for pesticides, they can go for Organic. Some 65 percent of thousands of produce samples analyzed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture test positive for pesticide residues.

Dirty Dozen™ 2014
EWG’s Dirty Dozen™ list of produce includes apples, strawberries, grapes, celery, peaches, spinach, sweet bell peppers, imported nectarines, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, imported snap peas and potatoes. Each of these foods contained a number of different pesticide residues and showed high concentrations of pesticides relative to other produce items. For the third they, we they expanded the Dirty Dozen™ with a Plus category to highlight two foods that contain trace levels of highly hazardous pesticides. Leafy greens – kale and collard greens – and hot peppers do not meet traditional Dirty Dozen™ ranking criteria but were frequently contaminated with insecticides that are toxic to the human nervous system. EWG recommends that people who eat a lot of these foods buy Organic instead.

In particular:

  • Every sample of imported nectarines and 99 percent of apple samples tested positive for at least one pesticide residue.
  • The average potato had more pesticides by weight than any other food.
  • A single grape sample contained 15 pesticides. Single samples of celery, cherry tomatoes, imported snap peas and strawberries showed 13 different pesticides apiece.

The Clean Fifteen™
EWG’s Clean Fifteen™ for 2014 – the produce least likely to hold pesticide residues – are avocados, sweet corn, pineapples, cabbage, frozen sweet peas, onions, asparagus, mangoes, papayas, kiwis, eggplant, grapefruit, cantaloupe, cauliflower and sweet potatoes. Relatively few pesticides were detected on these foods, and tests found low total concentrations of pesticides.

Notable findings:

  • Avocados were the cleanest: only 1 percent of avocado samples showed any detectable pesticides.
  • Some 89 percent of pineapples, 82 percent of kiwi, 80 percent of papayas, 88 percent of mango and 61 percent of cantaloupe had no residues.
  • No single fruit sample from the Clean Fifteen™ tested positive for more than 4 types of pesticides.
  • Detecting multiple pesticide residues is extremely rare on Clean Fifteen™ vegetables. Only 5.5 percent of Clean Fifteen samples had two or more pesticides.

Don’t panic, buy Organic.And what is my recommendation?

  • Follow the rules of The Dirty Dozen™ and The Clean Fifteen™
  • Check out your local markets, stores and farmes. Get as much information about their products as possible.
  • Watch out the labels (4 digits – Non Organic, 5 digits – Organic, 5 digit number beginning with an 8 – genetically modified. In EU than double check the Bio logos or certifications.
  • Use the Organic Matters online shop http://www.omfoods.com/, there are a lot of products which if you will order bigger volume it can save you a lot a money and according to our research the prices which OM have are much much lower or at least the same than in local stores.

If you are curious and interested in more details in this regards or in regards of Europe, please check out the links below:

http://www.ewg.org/release/european-food-regulators-warn-health-risks-pesticides-commonly-contaminate-many-us-fruits

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/need-to-know/health/the-dirty-dozen-and-clean-15-of-produce/616/

http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/index.php

http://permaculturenews.org/2013/04/22/stunning-difference-of-gm-from-non-gm-corn/

And remember…don’t panic and buy Organic :-)

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Rawman - Daniel
Rawman - Daniel