In today’s growing obsession with synthetic chemicals, hormones, pesticides, and other food additives, it’s become increasingly important to analyze the food and drink we ingest into our bodies on a daily basis. Organic foods, characterized by items that have been grown and prepared without artificial additives or processes, are naturally healthier for the human body– simply because the body can recognize, and therefore digest food as it was meant to.

If you are determined to live a healthier lifestyle by switching to organic products, good move! Here is the top-5 list of organically grown foods to incorporate into your everyday life:

Horizon Organic Milk:
Where can I find it?: Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, specialty supermarkets
Why?: For many families, milk is the base of many food items prepared daily; it’s used on cereal, for baking, and for drinking. Yet milk that is not certified as “organic” is produced from cows which, more likely than not, have been given hormones(estrogen) to produce more milk. Hormones ingested by young children through these dairy products may, based on various studies, be linked to increased levels of certain cancers, and early sexual maturity in young children.

Organic Fruit (Apples, Peaches, Strawberries):
Where can I find it?: Most supermarkets carry organic fruit in a specialized section
Why?: Fruits that are eaten with the peel/skin intact pose a higher risk for consumption of pesticides than fruits that are not eaten with the peel, such as oranges. Even after a careful washing, residue from the pesticides can remain on the fruit. Children benefit especially from organic fruit– not only are they a major consumer of fruits, but, comparatively with adults, absorb higher concentrations of pesticides due to their body size.

Organic Beef:
Where can I find it?: Specialized supermarkets such as Trader Joe’s amp; Whole Foods, some chain supermarkets
Why?: Animals are often fed antibiotics on a regular basis to prevent illness and disease. In the process, these antibiotics are transferred to the consumer through the cow’s meat. Also, as with milk, hormones are typically fed to these animals to produce bigger, stronger livestock.

Organic Valley/Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs:
Where can I find it?: Most supermarkets, specialty supermarkets
Why?: Because of the amount of eggs we consume, chickens are fed hormones in order to produce a larger quantity of disease-resistant eggs. Much of the grain fed to the hens contains high levels of pesticides, which is then transferred into the hen’s eggs.

Organic Rice/Grains:
Where can I find it?: Specialty supermarkets
Why?: Though grains are not treated with hormones, pesticides are used to protect them from disease and infestation. Grains that are deemed “organic” are regulated to ensure their growth in clean premises; it is not unheard of for grains and other produce to be grown in or near domestic and industrial sewage.