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Organic Foods: Is Buying Organic Food Really Necessary and Worthwhile?

Organic foods have received a lot of media attention recently, with opposing camps describing them as Holy Grail produce, and as overpriced and unnecessary.

Here's the truth about organic food: there is a happy medium, and I'd encourage you to be neither anti-organic, not evangelical.

Organic foods are foods that are not intentionally contaminated with specific pesticides used as preservatives. They are not guaranteed to be 100% free from any pesticides, which a lot of people don't realise - once a pesticide has been sprayed, it enters the atmosphere and travels in the air and water. In reality, pesticides and other toxins are at virtually every place in the world now, so buying organic is not a guaranteed way of avoiding every trace of them. It is, however, a sure way to limit your pesticide intake, which is a good thing.

The reports about pesticide intake being linked to various health problems are countless - very recently, they have focused on the correlation between children eating non-organic produce and developing ADHD tendencies.

The other side to organic produce, however, that many families are desperately aware of, is that on average they cost 30% more than non-organic produce. And so, no matter how many scare stories and worrying studies are revealed, buying all organic produce is simply not possible for many people.

The good news is that you don't have to buy all organic produce.

The key is to accept that organic produce does offer benefits that are, in some cases, worth paying for but also to accept that there are some products that you can buy non-organic with a clear conscience.

You should always buy organic meat, fish and dairy as these products all absorb much higher levels of toxins. If this means that you eat meat less often, because of the higher prices, it is worth making that sacrifice.

For other produce, you should ask yourself a question: Is this food protected from the pesticides sprayed onto it?

Foods such as lemons, with their thick peel, are well protected - so buy non-organic. Things like apples, however, with a thin peel that is eaten, are less protected - go organic.

This simple thinking can help you make the correct buying decisions.

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