Going organic is a good idea… Organic foods are higher in nutritional content, from vitamins and minerals to antioxidants.

They’re also free of pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, and other toxins that cause hormonal imbalances, many kinds of cancer, birth defects, and other serious illnesses.
Since it isn’t always easy to find and the labels can be confusing, here are some tips to make it easier for you…

#1: Know What the Labels Mean
Trying to figure out which foods are really “organic” can be difficult because there are so many different labels. Anything carrying a seal 100% Organic means the food contains only organically produced ingredients. It must carry contact information for a USDA certifying agent; it usually bears the “USDA Organic” seal.

If the label says Organic, it means 95% of the ingredients that went into making the food are organic. The remaining 5% must be on a national list of accepted ingredients. These products also have to contain contact information for the independent, USDA-regulated certifying agent.

Made with organic ingredients means the food contains at least 70 percent organic ingredients. They also have to provide the certifying agent’s contact information. But the remainder of the ingredients isn’t necessarily organic. And they can’t carry the “USDA Organic” seal.

Foods with less than 70 percent organic ingredients may include any organic ingredients on the ingredients list only. They also aren’t allowed to carry the “USDA Organic” seal.

#2: Buy Local
Farmers’ markets are becoming more popular in many communities. Look for one near you. Locally grown produce is often more nutritious than store-bought, simply because you’re getting fruits and vegetables that are in season, and they don’t need to be transported over long distances. That means they’ve ripened closer to harvest, which makes a big difference in nutritional content.

#3: Avoid These Hazardous Foods

· Milk: Commercial cattle are pumped full of hormones and antibiotics. They eat grains laced with pesticides. And they’re simply diseased animals. All of that stuff gets concentrated in their milk. The USDA performed analyses of commercial milk in 2004 and found pesticide residues in all samples tested. Organic milk is readily available in most supermarkets. Make this a priority purchase.

· Peaches/Apples: These two fruits contained the highest concentration of pesticides of 45 kinds of produce the Environmental Working Group, a non-profit consumer health organization. They used the USDA’s own analysis to rank food safety. Avoid commercial versions of these fruits. Even washing won’t offer you (or your children) enough protection.

· Peanut Butter: More than 99 percent of peanut farmers use conventional farming techniques in this country, including fungicides and other toxins. So skip the Skippy – it’s bad for you and your children – the peanut oil is extracted and replaced with soybean oil. I buy the Smuckers Organic Peanut Butter.

· Imported Produce: Many fruits and vegetables out of season in our hemisphere are in season in South America. Blueberries, tomatoes, grapes and other produce often come from Chile, Argentina, or Peru during the winter months. Steer clear of them. Many have far more pesticides and other dangerous chemicals than domestic varieties.

Author's Bio: 

Dianne Gregg, author of The Hidden Dangers of Soy, decided to write this book after developing a severe allergy to soy. She has done extensive research on this subject and wanted to share this crucial information to protect your health. The fact of the matter is that soy is not the “health food” it’s cracked up to be.

Dianne has been a professional commercial photographer for 20 years in Atlanta, GA. She was awarded the Golden Web Award, and has been recognized in the Atlanta Journal and Constitution as the pioneer in digital photography. She has served on the board of various business organizations, and contributed to local member newsletters. Dianne’s work has appeared in many trade publications.