Thursday, April 14, 2011

10 Things you SHOULD be buying Organic

This caught my eye in Health of my many magazine subscriptions...I thought this was interesting because you typically hear of the top ten or eleven foods to buy organic, but this list branches out beyond just food.

1. Beef

According to Health magazine, it's the most important protein to buy organic. Research shows a strong connection between hormones that cattle are injected with and cancer in humans. These hormones, which are estrogen like agents used to "beef" up the cattle can increase the risk of cancer, specifically breast cancer. Cattle are also typically injected with massive doses of antibiotics as well, which can lead to the development of antibiotic resistant bacteria in humans.

2. Strawberries
 Strawberries have a large surface area and all the tiny bumps and seeds are havens for pesticides and the texture of a strawberry makes it difficult to wash the fruit thoroughly, which means you're ingesting those harmful pesticides. In recent tests, a typical strawberry was shown to have up to 13 different pesticides on it's surface detected. My rule of thumb...if I eat the skin of a fruit or vegetable, I try to buy it organic.

3. Cookware

 Most nonstick cookware contains a fluorochemical called PTFE that, once heated, can form toxic fumes. Those fumes can coat the inside of your lungs and lead to allergy like symptoms.

Who knew? I use stainless I'm hoping not having cookware with that nonstick coating passes the muster!

A tip from Health..if you don't have the money to buy all new cookware, try starting off with just replacing the pan you use the most!

4. Popcorn

While you might think that microwave popcorn is a low fat healthy treat...the lining of the popcorn bags may contain a toxic chemical called perfluorooctanoic acid or PFOA. It's a chemical used to prevent food from sticking to the paper lining. According to the EPA, PFOA is likely a carcinogen. Scientists still don't know all of the hazardous effects of this chemical but have some evidence linking it to cancer and effects on the immune system. When you pop your microwaveable popcorn, those chemicals are being absorbed by your popcorn inside the bag.

I was a popcorn bag addict..especially once Orville Reddenbacher came out with the mini bags...but seriously, look at your hands after you eat some microwave popcorn or take a peek at the weird yellow fake butter substance on the inside of the, whip out your old school air popper if you're a popcorn fan!

5. Yard Pesticides

The fertilizer, weed killer, and grass enhancers you use to keep that stuff green can contain carcinogens and long term pesticide exposure can lead to changes in the brain and nervous system. The danger with the chemicals we use to keep are yards nice..not only can you inhale and breathe them in, you can bring them inside your home through your shoes, hands and feet. The market for organic lawn products has come a long way and there are many effective weed killers made of bases like lemon and vinegar and less toxic alternatives available.

One tip I'm trying this year..instead of using weed killer, take a water bottle and fill it with some salt and water for a natural weed killer spray..we'll see how the Allan garden does...

6. All Purpose Household Cleaners

A lot of typical house hold cleaners contain some potentially harmful chemicals. Ingredients like ammonia and bleach can irritate your skin, eyes, and respiratory system. Some cleaners may also contain phthalates, which can interfere with normal hormone activity. So, go natural with your cleaners, especially the places you touch the your kitchen counters. Look for items that are approved by Green Seal or EcoLogog, which identify products that meet certain environmental guidelines.

7. Water Bottles

These plastic water bottles are harmful because they may contain BPA, an endocrine disruptor that may increase the rish of breast cancer in woman and reduce sperm counts in men. The BPA may leach its way into the water contained in the bottle. So, use an unlined stainless steel drinking bottle or a BPA free plastic bottle.

8. Food Storage Containers
Just like water bottles..many food storage containers made out of plastic may also contain BPA. So, glass containers should be the go-to

I'm guilty of being a glad ware whore and putting them in the microwave..probably a double whammy no-no

9. Milk

This is a shocking statistic...Dairy products account for 60-70% of the estrogen we consume..who knew? Milk contains nature hormones passed on by the cows but about 17% of cows are treated with the hormone rBST or rBGH, which stimulates milk production.  These hormones are associated with an increased risk of cancer, including breast cancer. Europe and Canada have gone as far as to ban the use of rBGH. So, buy milk that is produced without any artificial hormones. Some milk packaging will go as far to say it's rBST or rBGH free.

10. Celery

Researchers analyzed 89,000 produce pesticide tests to determine the most contaminated fruits and veggies, guessed it, celery topped the list. Why? Celery stalks are extremely porous and they retain the pesticides sprayed on them. Other veggies that topped the list...bell peppers, spinach and potatoes.

So here's a little "food" for thought! For further information and a link to the article, check out Health magazine at


  1. Good to know!! I try to buy all organic when I can and I use natural cleaning products too - I have a lot of Method stuff, but I heard even some of those products have not-so-good chemicals in them...hmm

  2. A lot of the cleaners and pesticides are tested on animals too. I've read what type of tests they do to animals and now use alternatives or try to look for the not tested on animals label.

  3. I'm guilty of so many of these!