The chemicals used on crops and found in animal feed can contribute to environmental damage and even some health complaints such as neurological problems in humans, and not even a thorough washing can get rid of it all. Organic food is produced and reared entirely free of chemicals, but, they can be a lot more ex-ey! If you can only afford to make part of your weekly shop organic, make it these…
1. Apples Apples have been shown to be top of the crops when it comes to pesticide levels. Over 40 different pesticides have been found in non-organic apples including cancer-causing chemicals, neurotoxins, reproductive toxins and chemicals, which disrupt our hormone levels. Farmers use the chemicals over orchards to keep insects and fungus at bay. Just remember to make sure that produce such as apple sauce, apple juice and apple pies are all made with organic varieties.
2. Meat Non-organic meat is a triple-threat – not only is the animal feed full of foods that have been grown with the use of pesticides but it’s also laced with antibiotics and synthetic growth hormones to keep the animals healthy and make them as big as possible. Even after slaughter, these pesticides, antibiotics and hormones are still present in the meat just waiting to be digested by us at the dinner table. Some experts even believe that the use of antibiotics in livestock has lead to a rise of people who are resistant to antibiotics.
3. Spinach & lettuce Non-organic spinach and lettuce are chemical-carriers simply because, with their many leaves, they have a large surface area which means they absorb chemical pesticides. Lettuce is the worse of the two containing over 50 types of pesticides while spinach doesn’t fare too well either with 48. If you can’t get hold of organic spinach try canned, it contains less chemicals.
4. Potatoes The humble white potato can contain up to 37 different types of pesticides. If your weekly shopping budget is being stretched as it is, try swapping out your white potatoes for the sweet variety, they have been shown to contain far fewer chemicals residues.
5. Eggs Pesticides, growth hormones and antibiotics in chicken-feed pass from the chicken to their eggs. Just think of all the dishes you make using eggs, from pasta to cakes – the chemicals originally found in the feed will end up there too. Make sure your eggs are organic because this means that what
the chickens that laid them eat will be organic too.
6. Milk Just like chickens, cows are fed a whole lot of food containing chemicals. From pesticide-coated grain, hormones and antibiotics (to keep their udders free of infection from the relentless milking), it’s all there. Just like meat, these chemicals make their way into the milk which is then ingested by us. A good rule-of-thumb is the higher the fat content in the milk the higher the pesticide levels. Most coffee shops carry organic milk so there’s no need to give up your morning latte.