The 5 reasons organic fruit & veg is worth the money

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Organic food is growing in popularity, with many shoppers choosing the food packaging with the certified organic logo on it. Which is great! However, many of us still purchase our fruit and veg without choosing organic. Why is this? Is it the higher cost? Or perhaps it's not as easy to find? Or are we unsure if it's worth it?

If tabloid TV is to be trusted, then we're throwing money away paying for organic fruit and vegetables. That their nutritional content is no better than there non-organic conventional relatives. But what if it's not just what that have, but what they don't have? Here's our top 5 reasons to choose organic fruit and veg to fill your fridge and support your health:

1.  Antioxidants boost in organic fruit and vegetables

Studies suggest that eating organic fruits and vegetables may increase your antioxidant intake by up to 40%, particularly for organic strawberries and tomatoes. With research commonly showing that Australians do not consume enough fruit and vegetables, having higher antioxidants in the fruit and vegetables we do eat, can only be beneficial.

2. Lower toxicity of fertilisers in organic farming

Organic fruit and vegetables are grown with natural fertilisers such as manure and compost, rather than synthetic or chemical fertilisers. It's interesting that some farmers or producers that have witnessed the spraying of conventional crops, have pivoted and made the switch to organic farming.

3. Natural weed and pest control of organic farming

Synthetic pesticides are used in conventional crops to control the spread and destruction of weeds and pests. However organic farming utilises crop rotation, hand weeding, mulching and tilling, along with natural methods such as birds, insects and traps to keep pest destruction low.  Naturally derived pesticides are used when necessary. This farming is more labour intensive yes, but the risk of residues in your food is lessened, often helping people with allergies or sensitivities.

4. Organic food is fresher

Ever had that experience of buying a bag of carrots that turn to bendy rubber a day later? Organic food is often fresher as it most often hasn't travelled the food miles and sat in cold storage for long periods of time. The standards for how it looks are also less rigid, meaning that tractor loads of 'reject' fresh produce is thrown into landfill. Those scenes from ABC's War on Waste were eye openers to the fresh food that is rejected.

5. Better for the environment

We all want to do the right thing by the environment, recycling our rubbish and keeping our electricity use in check. Supporting organic farmers is one way each and every one of us can improve the impact of food production on our planet. Organic farming conserves water, reduces soil erosion, increases soil fertility, uses less energy and reduces pollution. With less synthetic chemicals being added to the ecosystem, it's also better for nearby animals and the farming community. Every small purchase supports a much bigger goal.

Budget friendly choices for buying organic

Yes, the cost of organic fruit and vegetables is higher and doing your full fresh produce shop organically may just not be viable every week. However, there are some fruits and vegetables where buying organic matter most, based on the pesticide use in conventional farming. So perhaps start here with your weekly shop to get maximum value:

  • apples
  • cucumbers
  • celery
  • potatoes
  • grapes
  • tomatoes
  • spinach
  • strawberries

The most budget friendly strategy is to buy your organic fruit and vegetables when they're in season. They'll be at their cheapest and they're freshest so check out what's in our fridge and plan your meals with these fruit and vegetables knowing you're making a great choice for you and your family.

Fruit and vegetables should fill our plates at meal time for the best foundation for our health, so perhaps organic produce should actually be the first step towards a shift to organic?

With organic chocolate and coffee a close second!

Check out what organic fruit and vegetables are currently in season and available in store here.

 

 

HealthLeo Peters