Hundreds of studies have shown that organic food is more nutritious than non-organic. It is gentler to the earth, which makes the soil more productive in the long run. A market economy is driven by demand: theoretically, if more people buy organic, more farmers will adopt organic practices, and the cost of production will decrease due to the increase in volume.
You Can Afford It
The average American family eats at least four meals a week outside of the home (many of these are at fast food and casual restaurants). Fast food especially may appear to be cheaper than cooking at home and is in many ways seems a lot more convenient. If you break the whole process down to its components, however, you find that eating out costs three times more than eating a home-prepared meal—even if all the ingredients are organic.
“In 2014 typical American households spent an average of $1.80 per person per meal for food eaten at home. In contrast, those same households ate out for an average of $5.36 per person per meal,” writes EWG. (9)
As for the perceived convenience and time savings of eating out, studies of travel time (plus the cost of gas!) and time spent in the restaurant itself show:
“Eating out takes just as much time, and sometimes more, than cooking at home… subjects traveled an average of 2.4 miles (about four minutes) from home to eat at a fast food place and 3.3 miles (about six minutes) to eat at a sit-down restaurant… When you add up the time it takes to drive, order, and wait for your meal to be ready, getting food at a fast food place will take you 14 minutes. ”
“At a casual restaurant, during peak dinner hours, the time to drive, wait to be seated, and served rises to 44 minutes. If there is no wait to be seated, getting food at a casual restaurant can drop to 21 minutes, but depending on the conditions, it can take even longer for your food to be served. And this does not include the time it takes to eat, pay or drive on to your next destination.” (Ibid.)
The Dangers of Conventional Food
It’s true, there’s a real and measurable impact of non-organic food on health.
The processed foods we eat, dirty dozen foods included, all contribute towards obesity, diabetes, cancer, autoimmune diseases, allergies, respiratory illness, heart disease, and neurodegenerative diseases. Toxic pesticides that coat “healthy food” make it not-so-healthy. That’s because those chemicals will adversely affect us over time in the same way they work on insects and weeds.
“Even low levels of pesticide exposure can be harmful to infants, babies and young children, so when possible, parents and caregivers should take steps to lower children’s exposures to pesticides while still feeding them diets rich in healthy fruits and vegetables.” (10)
The dirty dozen foods above are a real health threat and should be avoided at all costs.While eating one conventional peach once in a while won’t kill you, it’s not doing your body any favors. If you’re not sure they’re organic, simply don’t eat them, this goes for restaurants too!