If you’ve adopted a green lifestyle, you know that you can find an organic option for virtually every item in your shopping cart. At the end of the day, though, is it really worth the extra money you’re spending on those organic products? The answer isn’t a simple one: maybe, maybe not. While your family will benefit from some organic products, others are simply a waste of money.
Here are seven organic items that should be on every shopping list, should you have the option:
Over the years, researchers have found strong correlation between the hormones used to raise cattle and the instance of breast cancer. Because the hormones given to cattle contain estrogen-like chemicals, both women and men who consume large amounts of red meat are more susceptible to breast cancer. By purchasing beef that is certified organic, you will be avoiding these hormones as well as the large doses of antibiotics fed to cattle.
If you find cookware that is labeled as being organic, snatch it up and toss it in your cart! Traditional cookware is coated with a fluorochemical that breaks down and emits toxic fumes when heated. When you and your family breathe in these fumes, they coat the lungs and can cause allergy flares. If you can’t find organic cookware, at least skip the non-stick options.
In much the same way as cookware, traditional furniture leaches toxic chemicals into the air. Furniture is coated with chemicals to make it stain-resistant and easy to clean. These chemicals give off toxic fumes that can cause respiratory problems in more sensitive family members. Purchase organic furniture to ensure that these chemical agents are not brought into your home.
Lawn fertilizers and pesticides contain chemicals that are suspected to be carcinogens. Long-term exposure to these products can change the chemical makeup in your brain and nervous system. Instead of purchasing traditional lawn care compounds, look for organic, non-toxic options. Not only will your children and pets be able to enjoy your lawn safely, no one will track these harmful chemicals into your home.
5. Household Cleaners
When looking for household cleaners, look for those that have been Green Seal certified. These options are non-toxic and environmentally-friendly. Household cleaners that contain bleach or ammonia can irritate your respiratory tract, skin and eyes. Better yet, instead of buying cleaners, make your own with vinegar, baking soda or lemon juice; recipes can easily be found online.
Did you know that humans are the only animals on this earth that regularly drink the milk of another species and, in addition, drink milk beyond infancy? Most dairy cows are treated with hormones to increase their milk production to meet the demand of consumers. Look for milk that is certified organic or labeled as rBGH-free or rBST-free.
While any thin-skinned fruit or vegetable is best purchased organic, celery is the most important. Because it is so porous, celery absorbs more pesticides than any other bit of produce you will find. Look for organic celery in your store or, better yet, grow your own. Other produce to buy organic: potatoes, bell peppers, spinach, strawberries and apples.
While there are some things that are labeled organic by savvy marketers, there are items that really should be bought organic. In doing so, you will virtually eliminate the chance that harmful chemicals are being leached into your atmosphere or taken into your body. Be smart about your shopping and know when organic matters; your family, and your checkbook, will be the better for it.
Lindsey Harris is a nutritionist and an Eco-interior decorator, she blogs for erikorganic.com, a great site to find custom bed frames and other furniture!