Dr. Weil explains why you should follow an organic diet.
I have been a longtime proponent of organic foods and organic agriculture.
I think the main reason to eat organic is to avoid bad things in food, particularly residues of agrochemicals, pesticides, fungicides and so forth.
There’s arguments whether organic foods are nutritionally superior. I think they might be.
They might have higher content of carotenoids and other micronutrients but the main reason to eat organic is what you are not getting there that you are getting certainly lower amounts of toxic chemicals that are in conventionally produced produce.
Now I realize that for many people, and women are the main shoppers, that buying organic food is difficult; either it’s not available or it’s more expensive.
So I recommend that people familiarize themselves with the crops that are most likely to be contaminated and in those instances either to not eat them or to try to get organic versions.
The best source of information on this is a website ewg.org – this is the website of the environmental working group in Washington, a non-profit group that periodically puts out a list of what they call the dirty dozen – the 12 most contaminated crops in this country.
They also put out an accompanying list of the least contaminated crops and it’s interesting to look at these, I mean always in the most contaminated group are strawberries, US-grown cherries, peaches, apricots, green beans but it’s not everything.
So you can make a decision that in these instances you will either avoid them or get organic versions.
And it’s also good to know that for other crops like bananas, avocados, it’s not that important. These do not tend to carry chemical residues and so there’s no reason to spend extra money on organic versions of them.
About Dr. Weil, M.D.:
Dr. Andrew Weil, M.D., was born in Philadelphia in 1942, received an A.B. degree in biology (botany) from Harvard in 1964 and an M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1968. After completing a medical internship at Mt. Zion Hospital in San Francisco, he worked a year with the National Institute of Mental Health before writing his first book, The Natural Mind. From 1971-75, as a Fellow of the Institute of Current World Affairs, Dr. Weil traveled widely in North and South America and Africa collecting information on drug use in other cultures, medicinal plants, and alternative methods of treating disease. From 1971-84 he was on the research staff of the Harvard Botanical Museum and conducted investigations of medicinal and psychoactive plants.