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The Down Low on Shopping Organic
Aside from looking for the ‘organic’ label on foods, here are some other things you should look for…
Lettuce & Greens
When in the produce aisle, it’s okay to buy normal lettuce and greens and not organic, as most lettuces are pretty clean. Always be sure to wash greens and lettuces.
When looking for greens, go for darker and more bitter greens, like escarole, mustard greens, and dandelion. Their bitterness is actually a defense against insects and creates wonderful anti-oxidants that help in cell repair and anti-aging.
When buying fruit, remember that produce with “skin” will be dirtier (higher amounts of pesticides) and should be bought organic. The Environmental Working Group, a public health and environmental organization itemized a list of the most- and least-contaminated fruits and veggies.
Meat & Poultry
Whatever animals eat will be passed into your body, so to avoid ingesting growth hormones and antibiotics, it is better to buy organic meat and poultry. Also, be aware of what the animals eat. Beef and pork fed on grass (“pastured”) tend be healthier and they’re tastier as they’re eating a more natural diet. And don’t shy away from lard, says Planck, as it has the same mono-unsaturated fats as olive oil.
When choosing dairy, look for hormone-free milk. Milk from cows with hormones has been linked to breast cancer.
Eggs from chickens who have been “pastured” or grass-fed have been found to have more omega-3 vitamins and beta carotene, so go organic.
When buying cheeses, go for cheese made from grass-fed, hormone-free cows. Not only is it healthier, but the cheese will have a more complex flavor. Go for raw milk cheeses, which are unpasteurized. “Raw milk cheeses have living enzymes that are good for immunities and digestion,” she says.