Have you ever stood at the grocery store and weighed your options in the produce section? Organic or conventional? $2.99 apples or $0.99 apples? Many people will shrug off the debate and go conventional, thinking they can just wash off the pesticides instead. But, the difference between organic and non-organic produce lies far deeper than the skin of the fruit or vegetable. Certified nutritionist Stella Metsovas, recently named “America’s Health Expert” and based here in LA, explains, “The number one factor is the soil composition. Overcropped soils are devoid of minerals that are naturally found in organic soils. For a soil to be labeled as "organic," the USDA requires specific measures for planting methods, in addition to minimizing the amount of pollutants--such as livestock runoff--grown near the soil.” So, not only are organic fruits and veggies cleaner, they’re also more nutritious because of the organic soil in which they are grown.
For those with weak immune systems, including children and pregnant women, organic produce is definitely the way to go, according to Metsovas. The strict regulations that guide the production of organic fruits and vegetables ensure that harmful bacteria such as E. Coli is not present in the food, so your digestive system won’t have to suffer the consequences of being attacked by these pathogens.
All of the health benefits coupled with the sustainability of organic produce have led many restaurants to adopt organic ingredients for their food. O! Burger in West Hollywood, LA’s first 100% organic fast food restaurant, is just one local example. Owner Andy Soboil decided to go organic in an effort to combat the poor practices of most fast food restaurants, referencing specifically their “unaccountability, suspect food, and rampant use of hormones and pesticides.”
Going organic is easy, especially here in LA with a multitude of organic farms located in the area. One option for buying organic is at a local farmers’ market, where produce is guaranteed to be fresh and probably cheaper than buying from your local grocery store. Head over to one of these farmers’ markets to find great organic produce.
Beverly Hills Farmers’ Market (Metsovas calls it a “must-see!”)
9300 block of Civic Center Drive
Ivar & Selma Avenue
Sundays 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Arizona Avenue & 3rd Street