Updated: May 26, 2020
Organic fruit and vegetables taste better - right?
Organic fruit and vegetables are grown using no pesticides - right?
Organic fruit and vegetables are better for your health - right?
Let's take a look at taste first.
Fruit and veg which are grown organically are usually grown in more nourishing conditions which contributes to a crop's overall health, they are grown more slowly and have a lower water content and this makes the flavour more concentrated.
Conventionally grown produce has had synthetic fertilizers used, bulking up the fruit and veggies with “fillers” like water (in order to speed up the appearance of the ripening process).
So, yes, organic fruit and vegetables do tend to taste better than non-organic.
If you are under the impression that organic farmers just plant their crops and let nature do its thing unhindered then you are wrong.
Whilst organic farmers do not use synthetic pesticides, they do use pesticides on their goodies.
Organic farmers are permitted to use just 20 pesticides, derived from natural ingredients including citronella and clove oil, but only under very restricted circumstances. Research suggests that if all UK farming was organic, pesticide use would drop by 98%! This means that organic farms are a haven for wildlife and these toxic pesticides can't make their way into the food chain and into us.
You may have heard of the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen.... or you may not have!!
These lists are of non-organic foods which have been shown to contain the most/least traces of pesticides but these lists have been compiled by the Environmental Working Group – a non-profit, non-partisan organisation dedicated to protecting human health and the environment and they are US based. Pesticide Action Network UK have devised the Best & Worst Food for Pesticide Residues table relevant to the UK. Here’s a summary of the best and worst fruits and vegetables.
So they do use pesticides but they are natural ones.
Better For Your Health?
This is a bit of a controversial one. I would think that if something is grown more naturally and not soaked in pesticides then it would be better for my health. Pesticide Action Network UK would agree with me, see their article.
However the BBC programme Trust Me I'm A Doctor carried out some tests on pesticide residue of both organic and non-organic food to compare the levels of harmful chemicals they contain.
In the organic food sample they found no detectable pesticides
In the non-organic food there were traces of pesticides but were considered to be of a level that was not harmful.
Who decides what is harmful and what is not??
Surely the Government body that deals with this sort of thing is not going to turn around and say don't eat these things? There have been studies to look at the effects of individual pesticides on humans but there have been no long-term studies on how a cocktail of these pesticides can affect us. There is such a thing as The Cocktail Effect and calls for more research into this.
I have just scratched the surface here and hopefully you will do some more research yourself.
Going fully organic is expensive and not everyone can afford to do this. So what can you do?
You can wash your non-organic produce - vinegar appears to be helpful in getting rid of harmful bacteria on fruits and vegetables. You could mix a solution of 10% white vinegar to 90% water. Put your produce in the vinegar solution. Allow it to soak briefly, and then swish it around in the solution. Source: © The Health Sciences Academy ®. All Rights Reserved. Read more: https://thehealthsciencesacademy.org
Eating non-organic fruit and vegetables is still far better than eating crisps and cakes so please still eat them - just try to buy organic when you can, certainly those on the Dirty Dozen list.
Look for organic co-operatives in your area or subscribe to an organic box by someone like Riverford or Able and Cole. They deliver to your door and if you have a made-up box they are reasonably priced.
Keep eating fruit and veg!.......oh, I've already said it, but seriously it is so good for you - if you get a chance watch The Game Changers - you will see what I mean.
Back soon x