Apples are an AMAZING healthy food to add to your weekly grocery cart, but what to choose? Organic apples or the conventional kind? And does it really matter?
Fresh matters first.
First off, eating a FRESH apple (organic or not) is a fantabulous choice when your only other options are highly processed JUNK food. The fiber and natural vitamins in an apple will go much further than a bag of chips or those darn free cookies in the office. So if what you’ve got is a regular ol’ apple when you’re hungry, eat it and enjoy!
Next, choose less pesticides.
Did you know that apples are one of the most highly contaminated crops when it comes to pesticides?
Now while we don’t preach that everything you eat has to be organic (especially when you are on a budget), we do feel strongly that some foods should most definitely be consumed organic if you can help it. According to the Environmental Working Group, apples are at the very top of the Dirty Dozen list for being a highly contaminated crop, right next to celery and tomatoes – a topic we explore and visualize in our latest Eat Real Essentials eBook. (If you’re ready to restock that pantry and eat healthier, checkout the guide and sample pages here.)
How do pesticides work on apple orchards?
Apples are highly contaminated because of the pesticide spraying process. Tractors are driven directly next to the apple trees with a mechanical spraying device that shoots out large even spurts of pesticide to coat the leaves AND the exterior of the fruit. This pesticide adheres to the skin and even seeps into the core because the concave shape near the stem creates a perfect bowl-shaped vessel.
8 reasons why to choose organic apples
Pesticides are toxic. The sole purpose of any pesticide is to kill living organisms. According to the EWG, the U.S. government and international government groups have proven data that shows a direct link to pesticides and: “brain and nervous system toxicity, cancer, hormone disruption, skin/eye/lung irritation, and even ADHD.”
Spraying pesticides is harmful to the farm workers. We don’t often think of the work environment of those that pick our food, but it is something to consider. Forbes magazine published an article last year that said: according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH),
“…pesticide-related illness is an important cause of acute morbidity among migrant farm workers in California. A few categories (organophosphates and carbamates, inorganic compounds, and pyrethroids) account for over half of the cases of acute illness….Growers should be educated about alternative forms of pest control and incentives should be provided to encourage their use.”
Organic apples taste better. There is an unbelievable taste difference between organic apples and conventionally-raised apples. This is heavily due to how and when the fruit is harvested during their lifecycle.
Even organic apples are affordable in-season. If you haven’t noticed, fruit is EXPENSIVE and apples (even the organic kind) are by-the-pound, one of the most affordable fruits available during it’s prime season (Fall/Winter).
It’s a healthy, high-fiber, low-sugar fruit. In comparison to many other fruits, apples (especially green and tart versions) are naturally low-in-sugar and high in fiber, which keeps you fuller, longer without the sugar crash.
Apples are great for cooking and baking. A handful of apples diced into a green salad, or a thin slice of apple on an open face sandwich or even adding applesauce to muffins, cakes, or quick bread recipes add tons of moisture, without a ton of calories.
If you like this recipe, checkout more nutritious and healthy living tips in our Eat Real Essentials eBook, enhanced and interactive for the iPad or in a digital-friendly PDF. It’s filled with inspirational stories, grocery shopping and pantry stocking tips, a 3-week meal plan with a whole foods detox, and over 100 RECIPES designed just for the busy person! Check it out here.