With a significant price tag, it is good to know if it is worth the extra money.
Many people equate healthy living with buying organic food products, but this can be a false equivalence. Not all foods that are organic are healthy, and a food need not be organic to necessarily be healthy.
The Kaufmann Diet primarily deals with what you eat, not necessarily the quality of that food. In other words, non-organic greens are still packed with tons of valuable nutrition. A conventional chicken breast is still high in protein and contains no carbohydrates. It is perfectly doable to achieve the Kaufmann Diet’s ends––starving pathogenic fungi and avoiding foods contaminated with mycotoxins––without ever touching an organic food.
However, while it may not be the prime concern of the diet, eating organic foods can have some benefits that eating strictly conventionally grown foods might not confer. Some of these should be heavily considered while you are on The Kaufmann Diet.
What Does Organic Mean?
Organic foods must meet certain criteria to be called organic. The USDA Organic label is what you should always look for when shopping organic. Organic is not the same thing as natural or any other label or marketing ploy. Organic foods must be grown without an array of harmful pesticides, antibiotics, growth hormones and other chemicals, and they must not be genetically modified (GMO).
When is this something to be aware of?
Meat, Poultry, Dairy
When buying meat, dairy or poultry products, organic can be beneficial. On The Kaufmann Diet, antibiotics should be avoided unless absolutely necessary. Unfortunately, however, conventionally raised animals are routinely fed antibiotics; these can contaminate products from these animals and ultimately wind up on our dinner plate in trace amounts. Similarly, growth hormones, including the mycotoxin-derived Ralgro, are typically given to conventionally raised animals. These can also ultimately contaminate food from those animals, and we should seek to avoid exposure to these chemicals, as well.
This is not to say you must exclusively eat organic meat, dairy and poultry, but it is recommended when possible.
Fruits and Vegetables
Recently, Monsanto––the company responsible for producing one of the world’s most used pesticides known as Roundup (glyphosate)––was ordered to pay damages to the families of cancer patients who are thought to have developed cancer as a result of handling glyphosate. So we know that these pesticides can be deleterious to health, even though the risk is thought to be low for those who do not work in farming or handle the product regularly.
Still, it can be best to err on the side of caution. While you should never let the conventional vs. organic debate deter you from enjoying fresh produce, there are some things to be aware of. Certain fruits and vegetables should always be bought organic when possible, and for others, it is less of a concern.
Produce that is on The Kaufmann Diet that should always be bought organic when possible includes:
Foods that usually do not need to be bought organically include: