This is an essential article and series for me to be writing for you Gluten Free Foodies out there. If we’re going to eat healthy and gluten free we have to be aware of, and be investing in organic foods.
Most folks will tell you that you need to eat everything and I mean EVERYTHING organic. I’m not in that school as I’m all about staying in the budget. Believe me, if you buy EVERYTHING organic you’ll literally eat yourself out of house and home.
I know this simply from experience. I’ve had to learn the hard way that buying everything organic is unrealistic. It’s simply not sustainable for anyone.
So, I’m here to cover the facts! Organic vs Non Organic, the pros and cons! We need to understand what foods we MUST buy organic and which foods don’t matter as much.
Now, if you’re rich and famous with no need to even think about money, well, you probably still shouldn’t blow $1000 a week on groceries. However, if it’s your prerogative be my guest.
I, on the other hand, as much as I do commit a significant amount of money to health food would like to put my money toward something better. Maybe a nice car or decorations for the home. My husband would want to invest it otherwise!!
Why I’m Writing On This Topic
That’s why I’m writing this series. Every few weeks I’m going to cover a vegetable or fruit and render you the verdict. There’s a lot of information out there. Sometimes it’s not digestible (definitely a pun). So, we’re going to make it palatable and simple.
I feel that covering only a vegetable at a time will help you begin to make healthy choices on your quest to a gluten free you.
The teeming question in your head of Organic vs Non Organic, the pros and cons of fruits, vegetables, meats and other assorted foods in the gluten free cupboard will be answered one post at a time.
What We’ll Be Covering This Week
You most likely guessed it form the picture! We’re going to talk about tomatoes. These red little gems should definitely be a part of your diet. They’re delicious and amazing for you.
First I’d like to cover all of the health benefits of tomatoes. Then we can dive deep into what types of pesticides used on tomatoes and if it’s necessary to purchase them organic. Keep reading for the facts!
Are Tomatoes Good For Me?
Well, if you’re reading this trying to find out if you should be eating organic tomatoes you probably already know how good they are for you. There are some little known facts about tomatoes that I felt I should share.
A Great Source of Vitamin… C?
And you thought that orange juice was a good source of Vitamin C? Well, that may be true but Tomatoes don’t fair too badly on the Vitamin C scale either. Tomatoes, strangely enough can be a great source of vitamin C. With around 33% of your daily needs in 1 cup!
Now if that’s not a great thing, I don’t know what is. Folks are never getting enough vitamin C. This essential nutrient is important for your immune system and every day health. Actually, simply taking a supplement isn’t enough.
Actually, Linus Pauling won the Nobel Prize for his famous research into Vitamin C. One of his largest findings was that there are actually 3 different forms of Vitamin C. Absorbic Acid, that which is commonly found in supplements, is only 1 of the 3 forms!
What Linus Pauling found was ground breaking. It means that you NEED to get whole food vitamin C. There are some supplements out there that contain a whole food Vitamin C but many do not. So, score one for tomatoes!
Tomatoes also contain high amounts of Biotin, Vitamin K, Potassium, Vitamin A, Manganese, folate, phosphorus and Vitamin B1. This is only to name a few of all of the nutrients that are in these delectable candies!
You also experience high amounts of Lycopene. Now, Lycopene is a carotenoid that causes the red pigmentation of fruit and vegetables. It has been thought to have MANY health effects including heart health.
Quick Fact About Lycopene
Now, most of us will eat tomatoes in the raw form. That is NOT a bad thing and you conserve a lot of nutrients that way along.
However, to best absorb Lycopene and for it to have the greatest effects on your body the tomato should be heated. Not all cooking is bad when it comes to tomatoes!!
You can also blend or mix your tomato with a little oil to make the lycopene more absorb-able for your body. This is pretty simple. You either can heat your tomatoes, blend them into a soup OR simply throw some olive oil over them to properly absorb this essential Carotenoid.
The Dirty Facts
I want to discuss with you the top pesticides that are used on Tomatoes. I believe it’s important for you, the consumer, to stay informed. Making decisions for yourself is key.
The Tomato has a wide range of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides used on it. However, I would like to cover the top 4 that are used and talk about their side effects.
The Top Pesticide Used on Tomatoes
The most widely used pesticide on tomatoes is Endosulfan II. You’ve probably never heard of it until now. However, it is the most commonly used insecticide on tomatoes. I’m glad you’re reading this article so you can learn the truth!
This stuff is down right nasty. It is considered a Xenoestrogen. What that means is that it enhances the effects of Estrogens on the body. This means that the normal estrogen you produce and consume has its effects multiplied.
Endosulfan II is on its way out but is still being used on Tomatoes. This terrible insecticide is WIDELY known as a hormone disruptor and countries around the world are banning it from use. It’s also considered a neurotoxin by the US EPA.
Your Second Widely Used Fungicide
This next one is a fairly new compound. It’s a fungicide that was discovered in Sweden and now is used widely to keep away fungus from the tomatoes we consume. Because of its short tenure there has been little research.
Like any fungicide it can cause major skin, eye or throat irritation if inhaled while applying. That may be the extent of it. We’ll see as this compound is used more widely.
One of the major things I did find in my research is that this bioaccumulates in the soil. Often times it is washing into the water supply. This could cause possible concentrations and issues in the future.
The Third Most Widely Used Compound
Ok, this one is kind of scary. Endosulfane Sulfate is used on many of the tomatoes that are produced across the world. This stuff is pretty awful and I don’t know if I would want my kid eating this.
To begin, this stuff is considered a hazardous substance by the EPA and DOT. If that doesn’t sum it up I’m not sure what will. High exposure to this insecticide can cause convulsions and coma.
Now, let’s recognize that you would be exposed to small amounts of this from a tomato. BUT STILL! I mean, if I know that drugs will kill me then should I do “just a little bit?” What’s the difference.
If this stuff is a hazardous substance, it’s a hazardous substance. Whether you have a little or a lot. Why would you want to consume this chemical? A little or a lot seems to be irrelevant.
Last BUT Not Least
Chlorothalonil is our last culprit. Bringing this fungicide to the stand is easy and almost dramatic. To think that folks are ingesting this from their tomatoes is almost ludicrous.
Once you begin to look into the research you begin to see the animal studies that have been done that show the toxicity of this stuff.
Long term exposure has shown to cause kidney damage and tumor growth in rats. For goodness sake, it is considered a Group B2 “probable human carcinogen.” It seems asenine to me that this is legal!
Conclusion on Tomatoes
So, you’re probably wondering what my final verdict would be here. Well. because we often times eat the skin on the tomatoes I’m going to say that you should definitely be getting organic tomatoes.
With some of the pesticides, herbicides and fungicides that we’ve discussed here I would go as far as to say that if you can’t get tomatoes organic then simply don’t buy them at all.
As much as tomatoes might be good for you the cons outweigh the pros. The truth of the matter is that you really do NOT want to expose your body to the commonly used chemicals on tomatoes. Rinsing these red candies will certainly not be enough.
If you have any thoughts or would like to add anything of your own please leave your comments below!!