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:
- Organic diets may expose families to fewer pesticides associated with human disease.
- Organic farming may have less environmental impact than conventional farming. Organic farming reduces soil and water contamination and increases biodiversity.
- Organic produce has been shown to be slightly higher in antioxidants.
- Buying locally grown helps the local economy.
- 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.
- 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.
The “Dirty Dozen Plus” list includes produce that you should consider buying organic due to the amount of pesticide residues found in them.
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About UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital
For more than a century, UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital has provided high-quality medical care to women at all stages of life. UPMC Magee is long-renowned for its services to women and babies but also offers a wide range of care to men as well. Our patient-first approach ensures you and your loved ones get the care you need. Nearly 10,000 babies are born each year at Magee, and our NICU is one of the largest in the country. Our network of care – from imaging centers to hospital services – provides care throughout Pennsylvania and Maryland, giving you a chance to get the expert care you need close to home. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recognizes UPMC Magee as a National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health, and the Magee-Womens Research Institute is the largest research institute in the U.S. devoted exclusively to women’s health and reproductive biology.