What is the difference between organic and conventional foods, and is it worth making the change? Also, is it necessary to go totally organic?

Certified Organic Facts

• Uses natural fertilizers such as manure and compost

• Uses animals for pest and disease control

• Instead of using chemicals to control weeds, the methods of crop rotation, till, handpicking and mulching are used

• Animals are given organic feed, graze in rotation, and are put on a balanced diet to prevent disease

• No additives are used

• Promotes less pollution and use of natural resources

• Said to help reduce the risk of cancer

• Not proven to be more nutritious

• More costly

Note: Watch labels because “natural,” “free range” and “hormone free” do not mean the product is “certified organic.” Also, if it says organic that does not mean it is nutritious, so read the labels and make sure it fits your diet.

Conventional facts

• Uses chemical fertilizers to promote growth

• Insecticides are used to reduce pest and disease

• Herbicides are used to manage weeds

• Sometimes animals are given antibiotics and growth hormones to prevent disease and increase growth

• Not proven to cause cancer

• Not proven to be less nutritious

Here is a list of fruits and veggies that are the most important to buy organic because they contain the highest amount of pesticides.

• Apples

• Bell peppers

• Carrots

• Celery

• Lettuce

• Potatoes

• Strawberries

• Pears

• Spinach

• Red raspberries

• Cherries

• Peaches

• Green beans

Here is a list of fruits and veggies that are less necessary to buy organic because they have contain less pesticides. You will notice that most of these foods have thick skins, which help prevent them from absorbing pesticides, but make sure to clean them well.

• Asparagus

• Avocado

• Sweet peas

• Grapefruit

• Onions

• Cabbage

• Bananas

• Broccoli

• Corn

• Mangos

• Pineapple

• Mushrooms