Why should you eat organic food?


Buying organic isn't always easy, whether it's a matter of availability of organic produce on the shelf or the extra hit on your wallet! Dr. Andrew Weil explains why you should follow an organic diet and shares some great tips for choosing how to spend your dollars wisely when shopping for organic foods.

Transcript I have been a longtime proponent of organic foods and organic agriculture. I think the main reason to eat organic is to avoid bad things in food, particularly residues of agrochemicals, pesticides, fungicides and so forth. There are arguments whether organic foods are nutritionally superior. I think they might be. They might have higher content of carotenoids and other micronutrients but the main reason to eat organic is what you are not getting there that you are getting certainly lower amounts of toxic chemicals that are in conventionally produced produce. Now I realize that for many people, and women are the main shoppers, that buying organic food is difficult; either it’s not available or it’s more expensive. So I recommend that people familiarize themselves with the crops that are most likely to be contaminated and in those instances either to not eat them or to try to get organic versions. The best source of information on this is a website ewg.org – this is the website of the environmental working group in Washington, a non-profit group that periodically puts out a list of what they call the dirty dozen – the 12 most contaminated crops in this country. They also put out an accompanying list of the least contaminated crops and it’s interesting to look at these, I mean always in the most contaminated group are strawberries, US-grown cherries, peaches, apricots, green beans but it’s not everything. So you can make a decision that in these instances you will either avoid them or get organic versions. And it’s also good to know that for other crops like bananas, avocados, it’s not that important. These do not tend to carry chemical residues and so there’s no reason to spend extra money on organic versions of them.
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  • Dr. Andrew Weil M.D.

    Dr. Andrew Weil M.D. Director, The Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine Dr. Weil is Director of the Center for Integrative Medicine of the College of Medicine, University of Arizona. He has traveled widely collecting information on drug use in other cultures and is a well-established author. more about this expert »

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