Organic? Local? Imported? What’s the best choice?
Today we’re going to answer this very question.
Generally, anything labelled as organic usually comes with a hefty price tag, but is it really worth the extra cash?
The jury is still out on whether organic fruit and veg are actually more nutritious than conventionally grown produce. So another reason why you may consider buying organic produce is that it is grown without pesticides, unlike conventionally grown produce.
Your next question may be, what’s the risk of contamination to us when we consume conventionally grown produce?
Not all fruit and veg share the same risk of pesticide contamination.
The Environmental Working Group in the US has complied a list called the Dirty Dozen made up of (now) fourteen of the most highly contaminated fruit and veg, and the list includes:
6. Cherry tomatoes
7. Nectarines (imported)
8. Hot chillis
The Environmental Working Group also came up with the Clean Fifteen, which is made up of fruit and veg with the lowest pesticide contamination. These fruit and veg generally have a thick hard skin, or are grown with less pesticides.
The Clean Fifteen includes:
7. Kiwi fruit
13. Sweet corn
14. Sweet peas
15. Sweet potato
However, according to Lorraine Hasse, of Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), the Dirty Dozen and the Clean Fifteen are not relevant to Australians, as here in Oz, we use different herbicides and pesticides and we are stricter on residue limits.
Long story short. You can skip organic for anything listed in the Clean Fifteen, but whether we need to buy organic in Australia for the Dirty Dozen is still unclear.
What should you buy then?
The best possible choice is local, and when I say local, I mean South Australian. This goes for fruit, veg, meat and even olive oil. Locally grown means that the produce has spent less time in transit or on the shelf before you eat it, making it more nutritious and delicious. Home-grown fruit and veg is even better! As you can see our peaches are coming along nicely. If you have a little space in your garden, it’s definitely worth starting a veggie patch.
1. Local is best!
2. It’s not essential to buy organic.
3. Avoid imported produce.
Sarah has a PhD in cell biology and is a certified Primal Health Coach. She has attained her CrossFit Level 1 and lives what she teaches. The concepts behind Nourish & Lift are based on scientifically sound principles. Nourish & Lift’s philosophy is about making sustainable lifestyle changes. You’re not alone, let’s do this together.