The ills of factory farming are very apparent today, from recent media exposure in the form of food that has been recalled due to contamination, with such things as salmonella, e coli and listeria, to documentaries and books on the subject, such as Michael Pollan's, The Omnivore's Dilemma. The awareness about the health hazards of factory farming has lead to a greater push to eat, not only locally, but organically as well.
Although not all organic foods are created equally, such as those discussed in The Omnivore's Dilemma, there are still many organic fruits that can be a healthy choice if included in your diet. The following are the top 5 fruits that should be purchased organically:
When it comes to non-organic apples, the old adage of, 'an apple a day will keep the doctor away' can no longer be said to be true. Due to the high levels of pesticide use on apples, it can in fact be the contrary. According to a 2000-2009 study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration, apples now rank as the highest pesticide laden produce, taking over the top spot that was once held by celery. This is one fruit that should definitely be on your organic shopping list.
Blueberries have been considered one of the world's 'super foods', right up there with goji berries, cinnamon and dark chocolate. The new title has lead to increased demand by the public, which in turn puts strain on farmers to produce larger yields. In order to protect the crops from insects and fungus that damage the blueberries, pesticide use has also increased. Today, factory farmed blueberries can be found to be treated with over 50 different types of chemicals.
Due to their thin skin and absorbent nature, nectarines may very well be one of the worst factory farmed fruits to eat. Since they are highly susceptible to pests, they are typically treated with over 33 different pesticides, all of which the fruit easily absorbs. If a nectarine is a must have fruit in your household, you will be doing yourself, and your family, a huge favour by only purchasing organic.
Not unlike the nectarine, the peaches' thin skin and absorbent inside acts much like a sponge, sucking in, and storing, many of the pesticides it is treated with. Factory farmed peaches have been found to contain high levels of both insecticides, such as organophosphate, and fungicides, like iprodione.
Although not nearly as bad as apples, factory farmed pears can still be treated with up to 28 different pesticides. And like apples, as the insects become resistant to pesticides, more chemicals will be required. All of which inevitably finds its way into the fruit, and subsequently, into our bodies. Like the nectarine, if the pear is a favourite in your household, a fruit you cannot do without, the healthiest choice is to opt for organically grown.
Organic may not be the most cost effective for every family, so taking care to properly wash your fruit, will at the very least, help to eliminate some of health hazards that contaminates may cause. In the end, although organic is recommended for fruits that are heavily treated with pesticides, such as the five from above, the benefits of eating fresh fruit far outweigh any health concerns of eating fruit that has been treated with pesticides.
Corey Rozon is a freelance writer from Ottawa, Canada. This article about the top 5 organic fruits that you should include in your diet was written with the help of Goji Berries.us, a great place to find organic acai juice.
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