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RachelleW posted a blog entry in Shades of an Apple Green HomeWhen it comes to buying organic foods, there is a lot of controversy about whether or not it is a worthy consideration. Organic food is produced without the use of synthetic additives to include antibiotics, growth hormones, pesticide or fertilizers or any other artificial means. Organic farmers utilize environmentally conservative practices in regard to soil, water and overall food production procedures. For a product to be labeled ‘USDA Organic’, it must undergo a stringent certification process to be labeled as such, including farming practices and handling of food before it can be sold to consumers. Meat Meats, including beef and poultry products are often from animals that have been treated with growth hormones and antibiotics. These animals also usually have been fed grain treated with pesticides. When feasible, choose grass-fed, organic meat to ensure its quality. Dairy The milk produced by cows is affected by the hormones and antibiotics they are given, so choose organic milk, cheese and other dairy products when possible. Other products derived from dairy, including protein powders, should be derived from organic milk from grass-fed cows to ensure purist quality, like that of WonderWhey protein from DoVitamins. Eggs Choosing organic eggs ensures that the chickens they came from were not given harmful antibiotics nor were they fed grains that were treated with pesticides. Eggs labeled free-range or cage free ensures the chickens were raised under humane conditions supporting their health. Produce Fruits and vegetables are generally grown using commercial fertilizers, pesticides and insecticides. Some produce has a higher content of pesticides and buying organic or planting organic if you are a gardener is a good idea. According to the Environmental Working Group, an agency that regularly tests pesticide levels in produce, some of the fruits and vegetables at the top of the list for having the highest levels of pesticides in 2015 include apples, celery, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, grapes, asparagus, avocado, cabbage, cantaloupe and cauliflower. Grains Grains are also heavily treated with chemicals to ensure that farmers will yield a crop. Grains are being genetically modified as well, so buying organic wheat, oats and other common grains ensures they are GMO-free, an environmentally healthy choice. With the price point of organic foods often being higher than that of conventionally manufactured foods, it can be difficult for consumers to know which foods they should consider buying organic. Choosing organics when feasible is one important way of reducing the toxic load for our bodies to support overall bodily health and the health of our environment.