Food For Thought: Organic Is Worth The Price

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I know that many people are cutting back at the grocery store to save money. I can understand that. So, I want to share with you why it’s important to reduce your exposure to harmful pesticides by understanding which crops contain the most and the crops that contain the least amount of cancer causing chemicals.

First you should know that many pesticides that were approved for use on our crops by the EPA were registered long before extensive research linking these chemicals to cancer and other diseases had been established.

TODAY the EPA considers the following to be CANCER CAUSING:
60 percent of all herbicide (the substance used to kill unwanted plants)
90 percent of all fungicides (chemical compound used to kill or inhibit fungus)
30 percent of all insecticides (used to kill insects)

Some chemicals are no longer used in the US because they were found to be too toxic and a danger to our health. But…get this….they are still sold to other countries who then ship their foods right back to us! Yet another reason to buy local.

These chemicals accumulate in our fat cells and over time, this toxicity can alter our genetic makeup, mimic hormones and can lead to cancer. They affect our nervous system and reproductive system causing infertility in both men and women.

But you say organics are expensive. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has compiled a list of the top 12 most heavily contaminated pieces of produce. You can download a pocket size shopping guide that you can carry with you to the grocery store to avoid these chemicals. It also lists “Clean 15,” so you can save money on the Clean 15 while purchasing the “Dirty Dozen” organically.

EWG research has found that people who eat five fruits and vegetables a day from the Dirty Dozen list consume an average of 10 pesticides a day. Those who eat from the 15 least contaminated non-organic fruits and vegetables ingest fewer than 2 pesticides daily. So I urge you to purchase organic for any foods you eat from the top 12 or avoid them all together.

You can go to FOOD NEWS and download the pocket guide to the Dirty Dozen for FREE. Check back yearly, because this list is updated every year.

About Karen Roth

Hi. My name is Karen Roth, and I’m a Holistic Nutritionist. Okay, I know what you’re thinking… quick, hide the food; the snack police is here! No need to panic. I describe myself as a “practical” nutritionist, one who doesn’t go to extremes one way or the other and understands that life is challenging enough without having to torture yourself by cutting out many of the things you enjoy. Most of us have limited time to shop for food and to cook healthier meals. And a one-size-fits-all approach does not work when it comes to what and how we all eat. Trust me, I get it.

In my early years out of college when I was bartending, my eating and drinking habits were anything but healthy. But, then you grow up and start thinking about the bigger picture and listening more to what your body is telling you. My pre-nutritionist days were on the corporate treadmill where stress and snacking at the desk was part of my daily routine. Never enough hours in the day and proper eating was always at the bottom of my list.

It wasn’t until I broke my jaw in a freak accident that my food life really changed. When you’re wired shut for two months and denied the food you need for your very existence, you begin to look at the world a little differently. When I healed myself, primarily by creating my own foods I could sip through a straw, I decided to pursue something that was always of interest to me… nutrition. Pulling the plug on the corporate treadmill, I went back to school for three years to get my Masters Degree in Holistic Nutrition. I then opened a practice in Valencia, California, and I’m pleased to say that over the years I have helped so many people improve the quality of their lives by helping them make simple changes in their diets and lifestyle.

Eating healthy doesn’t have to be time-consuming or tasteless, and it is my intention to bring you practical tips each week on how to fit in nutrition one bite at a time. In addition to being practical, I’m also positive so you don’t have to worry that I am going to be Debby Downer and tell you that everything you put in your mouth is going to kill you. Instead, I will offer you easy to implement, simple strategies to help you improve your health. I’ll be introducing new foods (that taste good – because I don’t eat anything that tastes like sawdust or is unappetizing) and new habits that are realistic. I hope you’ll join me as a regular reader and together we’ll build the healthier you with FOOD FOR THOUGHT.

(Karen Roth, MS, NC is a graduate of Hawthorn University’s Master of Science in Holistic Nutrition training program. She helps her clients to take control of their health with foods choices that best support their specific health condition and specific metabolic type and believes that every ill health condition can benefit and possibly improve from a solid foundation of healthy foods choices. Visit her website at