Spring has arrived and with the new season comes organic produce at local farmers’ markets. Choosing locally grown or organic foods may reduce pesticide exposures as local, small farms generally apply organic principles. Plus, you can ask the farmer exactly what their practices are! While it’s true that organics generally cost more, as demand goes up, the prices are coming down. Here are six benefits of buying organic or locally grown:

  1. Organic diets may expose families to fewer pesticides associated with human disease.
  2. Organic farming may have less environmental impact than conventional farming. Organic farming reduces soil and water contamination and increases biodiversity.
  3. Organic produce has been shown to be slightly higher in antioxidants.
  4. Buying locally grown helps the local economy.
  5. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends reducing childhood exposures to pesticides. Early exposures may be linked to pediatric cancers, decreased cognitive function, and behavioral problems.
  6. Local farmers share their growing methods and often farm utilizing organic principles. Buying at farmer’s markets allows you to know who is growing your food and what their methods are.

The “Clean 15” list includes produce that is typically safe to consume washed and in non-organic form.

Clean Fifteen | UPMC HealthBeat

 The “Dirty Dozen Plus” list includes produce that you should consider buying organic due to the amount of pesticide residues found in them.

Dirty Dozen Plus | UPMC HealthBeat