Is it a luxury, a good idea, or a necessity to buy everything organic?  Or, have we simply gone over the top?  Buying organic fruits, veggies, products, mattresses, clothing, whatever else is expensive but, is it more expensive to our health and to the health of our children to not buy organic?  You decide but here’s a list of items and information that, according to doctors, health practitioners and the EPA and FDA, might help you decide when to and when not to go organic.

  1. This may be surprising but the most important organic protein to buy is beef.  Dr. Samuel Epstein from the University of Illinois at the Chicago School of Public Health says, “Research suggests a strong correlation between some hormones given to cattle and cancer in humans, particularly breast cancer.”  The concern here is estrogen-like agents.  And, Dr. Ted Schettler, science director at the Science and Environmental Health Network, is most concerned about avoiding massive doses of antibiotics that “regular” cattle ingest.
  2. Strawberries are routinely sprayed with up to 13 different pesticides.  These pesticides are difficult to wash off due to the exterior texture of these berries.  It is also recommended to skip conventional peaches, apples, blueberries and cherries due to the pesticides sprayed on these fruits.
  3. Forget nonstick or teflon treated cookware.  In just 2-5 minutes, such coated cookware can exceed temperatures that stimulate toxic gas emissions.  Switch to stainless steel, ceramic or cast iron cookware.
  4. Forget popcorn in microwavable bags.  The bags contain a toxic chemical, perfluorooctanoic acid or PFOA.  The EPA says that PFOA is a carcinogen.  It also negatively impacts links to the immune, nervous and endocrine systems.
  5. Forget using “regular” yard pesticides as they’re linked with brain and nervous system damage. And, because many of us walk on ground that has been sprayed with these pesticides, we bring the pesticides into our homes when we walk into the house with our “garden” shoes on. The EPA suggests substituting products that are marked with either a BurnOut or EcoClear symbol.
  6. Stop using all purpose home cleaners.  Ammonia and chlorine bleach are harmful to eyes, respiratory tract, skin and normal hormones function.  Instead, use Green Seal or EcoLogo products.
  7. Drinking water out of a plastic bottle isn’t a good idea.  Plastic bottles contain BPA or Bisphenol A, an endocrine disruptor.  Instead, the Institute of Environmental Health Sciences suggests drinking water from an unlined, stainless steel or BPA free bottle.
  8. Forget plastic food storage containers.  BPA again.  Glass containers are the safest.
  9. Organic milk is the way to go.  Non-organic milk is composed of 60-70% estrogens that stimulate insulin-like growth factors vis a vis the BST hormone. This hormone is banned in both Canada and Europe.
  10. Celery topped the charts in terms of pesticide contamination.  Make sure its organic along with spinach, bell peppers and potatoes.
  11. Tomato sauce in glass jars or boxes is the where its at.  Again, BPA is in cans of tomato sauce.
  12. Be very careful about mattresses, carpet padding and some electronics as they may be sprayed with flame retardants.  There was a reason that children’s pajamas sprayed with flame retardants were banned some years ago.

No worries about these non-organic items…avocados, eggs, frozen foods in plastic bags as long as you don’t boil the foods in those bags, spices, clothing unless sprayed with flame retardants.