There seems to be a lot of confusion around whether or not we should invest in buying organic produce, and there are convincing arguments both ways, as well as conflicting research that organic food is actually any more nutrient dense. So, I have tried to do the hard work for you by summarising the evidence.
Broadly speaking, the reality is an organic diet is likely to increase consumption of essential vitamins, minerals & antioxidants…
For example, Vitamin C (vitamin C research, River Cottage book).Furthermore, non-organic food often contains harmful hormones and pesticides. The FDA assures us that these are within ‘safe’ limits and that there are rigorous processes in place to ensure that these are not exceeded. Personally, I don’t think we have enough research to truly understand the impact of this cocktail of chemicals. By nature, pesticides are designed to kill and I therefore think it makes sense to try and avoid them as much as possible. A build-up of toxins and chemicals will also put an additional strain on our liver, whose job it is to clear these out of our system, making us feel tired & sluggish.
That said, we also need to balance this with the fact that we may not always have access to organic produce, or our budgets are limited. Therefore, I think a great starting point is the ‘Dirty Dozen’. This is a list of fruits & vegetables known for being most affected by pesticides as they absorb a higher number of chemicals. There is also the ‘Clean Fifteen’ which are least likely to hold pesticide residues. Both lists can be downloaded here http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary.php and serve as a great way to help you make more informed shopping choices. Also be aware that some non-organic canned goods, such as beans & coconut milk, contain additives and preservatives. So it can be worth investing a little more here, especially as a lot of these ingredients aren’t too expensive in the first place.
Liver support is also an important consideration
The final thing to bear in mind is to do what you can to support your liver, ensuring that any chemicals & toxins we are consuming are cleaned out of our system as efficiently as possible. Having a cup of warm water with lemon (nature’s detoxifier!) first thing in the morning will aid this, as well get your metabolism going. Other great foods for the liver include cruciferous veges, such as broccoli and cauliflower, so get stocked up on these!