As farmers have strived, over the years, to produce more and more crops from the same amount of land, they have turned to chemicals to help to improve their crop yields. This means that they are using more and more pesticides and herbicides and they are now turning to genetically modified (GM) crops too. The long term effects of GM foods have yet to be really determined, but the pesticides and herbicides that farmers use do leave residues in the food that we eat, so the only real way to be sure that your food is 100% natural is to buy organic. Organic food is often more expensive though, so even if you can’t buy all your food organic, here are ten foods that you that you should be looking for the organic label on:
1. Baby food
In a recent study of baby foods by the US department of Agriculture, an alarming number of baby foods were found to contain traces of pesticides and fungicides. Children’s bodies are far more susceptible to these chemicals, and it is always wise to buy organic baby food, if you can.
Non organic dairy cows are not as natural, as we might think either. They are often given genetically engineered hormones to increase their milk yield and some studies have suggested that these hormones may contribute to the development of cancer in human beings.
When you tuck into your toast, you could be tucking into a portion of malathion, an insecticide that is also used in head lice shampoo and pet flea treatments! Malathion has been linked to cancer and changes in the human immune system. It can also be passed from a pregnant mother to her unborn baby. So make sure that you buy only organic bread.
Apples are actually one of the most highly contaminated foods that you can buy. It’s well worth spending a little extra money on your apples and buying organic, because they won an award for “most contaminated produce” in 2013.
5. Tomato ketchup
The cheap tomatoes used in ketchup and sauces are very likely to be highly contaminated with pesticides. When a sample of regular cherry tomatoes was recently tested, it was found to contain 13 different pesticides. Organic tomatoes will not only be not contaminated with pesticides, they will also contain far more nutritional benefit.