Conventionally raised vegetables can contain pesticide residues—in varying amounts—that may harm you. By buying and eating organic veggies, you can keep those chemicals out of your body, your farmers’ body, and the air, land, and water we all share.
Pesticide exposure has been linked in various studies to cancer, nervous system damage, and reproductive issues. Pesticides have been shown to cross the placenta during pregnancy. A study from the University of Washington (Seattle) found that preschoolers fed conventional diets had six times the level of certain pesticides in their urine as those who ate organic foods. Another report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention detected twice the level of some pesticides in the urine of children as in that of adults. Minimizing exposure is a smart precautionary measure.
Organic farming is better, environmentally speaking, across the board, down to the lack of conventional petroleum-derived fertilizers, which are energy-intensive to produce.
Organic vegetables are increasingly available at grocery stores and easy to find at natural food and farmers’ markets. Stock up during growing season and can or freeze if that interests you.
Inexpensive ways to stock up on organic vegetables include buying a CSA farm share, joining a food co-op, and growing your own.
Do consider where the organic vegetables come from. Celery flown in from very far away has quite a transportation impact, plus some organic certifications are more stringent than others. The ideal vegetable is both local and organic, but this isn’t always possible.