Would you feed yourself and your family toxic, poisonous chemicals? Whilst this may sound extreme, the reality of the matter is that each time you consume conventional fruits or vegetables, you are doing precisely that in the form of pesticides and herbicides. These harmful chemicals are known carcinogens (cancer causing). Don’t even get me started on processed foods – that’s for another post entirely!

Exposure to, and the consumption of pesticides has been linked to a number of health related issues, including:

  • Alzheimer’s
  • Fertility issues
  • Birth defectstoxic-apple-dont-panic-go-organic-pesticide
  • ADHD (in children)
  • Cancers (ovarian, prostate, breast and others)
  • Damage to immune system
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Low IQ (in children)
  • Neurological disease, and more!

I don’t know about you – but I think I’d rather eat an insect or two?! 

Like most people, for years I shunned the idea of going organic on the basis that it was ‘too expensive’ – but after doing my research and learning of the rise in cancers and other food related diseases, I was finally shocked into detox and made the full switch to organic this year. I haven’t looked back since.

Can’t we just wash our vegetables?
The short answer is: no. Even if you wash your vegetables in water and scrub them with a brush, it is not enough to remove the harmful buildup of toxic chemicals on your produce, especially since pesticides can be soaked up by the plants roots and absorbed into the flesh of the fruit or vegetable. Consumer Reports confirm that the USDA measure pesticide residues after the produce has been rinsed and edible peels have been removed. Therefore, your safest bet is to buy organic.

Three ways to rationalize making the switch to organic:

  1. Find your ‘why’ and prioritise.
    Whilst, for a long time I professed that organic vegetables were too costly, that’s mostly because I was comparing them to their cheaper counterpart. Who wants to buy something that looks exactly the same for double the cost? However, looks can be deceiving. Once I discovered the harmful effects of pesticides, I concluded that conventional produce is not even worth the lesser price tag; fruits and vegetables are supposed to heal, not harm. I no longer compare cost since there is no comparison when it comes to health. So if you are still ‘umming’ and ‘ahhing’ – ask yourself this: Can you afford to become seriously ill and lose your health?
  2. Where there is a will there is a way.
    If you are serious about your health, you will find a way to protect yourself and your family. Most people have ‘non-essential’ outgoings, which, when reduced, free up extra funds to invest in their health and wellbeing. Things to consider cutting back on include: internet shopping, alcohol, unnecessary TV packages/add-ons, taking transport when travelling shorter distances, takeaways/fast food, high tech gadgets and games. If you are really struggling and have access to an allotment/garden – you could consider growing your own vegetables at a fraction of the cost – safe and rewarding.
  3. Bless – Don’t Stress
    After the initial ‘whoa’ moment of my first organic shop, I began to bless the farmers and stores offering safer produce, rather than stressing over the price tag. I now pay my bill with love and gratitude, silently thanking Mother Nature for providing meals that heal. Despite my fairly low income teaching as a contractor, I soon became accustomed to the increase in my shopping bill and so will you. It is simply a case of eliminating the non-essentials. This increase can range anywhere between 25-50% depending on how savvy you are at shopping organically. Whilst it may, at first, feel heavier on your pocket, believe me – it will feel much lighter on your soul.

Here are my top 3 tips for savvy organic shopping:

  1. Timing.
    If you shop towards the end of the day, you will sometimes find reduced stock which has lost a little of its freshness. If you plan to use them straight away, this isn’t a problem. Also, find out when your local store renews their stock. Older produce is often reduced beforehand to free up room for the new delivery. And stock up! If something is on special or reduced, can you bulk buy it? This will save you money in the long run and is particularly handy when purchasing dry stock such as quinoa or lentils etc However, even fresh produce such as veggies and meats can be frozen until a later date.
  2. Quality vs. Quantity.
    Before making the switch to organic, I would happily throw an entire pepper/onion into a recipe. I now consider using half instead. Since organic vegetables provide more bang for buck, I choose quality over quantity. I feel just as full and satiated because I am providing my body with a healthy dose of nutrient dense foods.
  3. Beans beans are good for your heart the more you eat the more you ..?!
    Since switching to organic, I have gradually moved towards a plant strong diet, filling up on quinoa, lentils, nuts, seeds and legumes. I have found that reducing my meat intake frees up funds for other tasty (and beneficial) foods that are just as rich in essential vitamins and minerals. Experiment with different recipes (you can find some on my recipes page) and discover what works for you!

If you are still struggling with cost, make the switch to organic gradually. Even if you purchase some organic vegetables and others conventional, you are still consuming less pesticides then you would have previously. This guide is published each year and provides information about the safest conventional produce. When purchasing from the dirty dozen list, try to always buy organic. Foods from the clean fifteen list can be purchased conventionally at a much lower risk.

dirty-dozen-list-don't-panic-go-organic

What’s your take on organic vs. conventional? Are you pro organic? How do you justify the higher price tags and do you have any tips for cost saving?

Organically yours,

Hayley xx