The Truth About Organic + A Baked Egg

To buy organic or to not buy organic? That is the question, and it is a hotly debated one.

A Stanford study that came out in September found that organic foods were no more "nutritious" than non-organic foods. The study suggested it was not necessary to purchase organic products.

Hold on-was that ever the point of buying organic? The answer to that is no, it's not the point. Organic fruits and vegetables aren't supposed to be "healthier" in the sense that they provide more vitamins and minerals. They're healthier because the fruits and vegetables don't have pesticides on them, the meats aren't filled with harmful antibiotics, the food isn't genetically modified.

We don't know the risks of pesticide exposure, so why take a chance? Studies have shown that pesticides can be carcinogenic. GMOs have also been found to be carcinogenic and unsafe to the environment. And there's a long list of reasons why antibiotics aren't safe, including increased antibiotic resistance, which leads to an emergence of bacteria that we can't fight off.

I've provided two great reads, by my two favorite food advocates, if you are interested in why it's important to buy organic, despite what the Stanford study says.

Mark BittmanThat Flawed Stanford Study

Marion Nestle: Are organics more nutritious? Again? Sigh.

So what are the foods that are really important to buy organic? Here are the rules of thumb:

Anything you eat the outside of: Apples, berries, leafy greens, potatoes, etc. Pretty much any fruit or vegetable that you ingest the entire thing, including the outside.

Animal Products: Organic meats don't have any antibiotics or added hormones. They are allowed to range freely, and if you've seen Food Inc. (and if you haven't, I highly suggest you do), you'll know how important it is that these animals aren't stepping all over each other and aren't living in their own manure.

Milk: Like organic meat, organic milk products have no added hormones.

It is not necessary to buy organic avocados, bananas and other fruits or vegetables with a peel or outer protection. The pesticides don't infiltrate these outer surfaces, so there's no need to spend the extra money on organic.

Baked Eggs
I love my eggs in the morning, and baked eggs are a great way to switch up the monotony of omelettes,  scrambles and sunny side-ups.

1 Egg 
Egg Whites (as needed)
4 grape Tomatoes
Kale and Arugula (or spinach)
1 Garlic clove
2 Mushrooms of choice
Trader Joes 3 cheese low fat blend (or cheese of choice)

Goat Cheese
Ground Flax Meal

1. Preheat your oven (or toaster oven) to 375 degrees Farenheit.

2. Crack your egg into an oven safe bowl. Add some egg whites to thicken, if desired. I sprinkle a little bit of cheese on top to layer. 

3. Chop your vegetables, then saute them in a pan. I use a handful of each, and like to put a lot of greens in mine.

4. Pour the vegetables on top of the egg, and pat down with your spatula.

5. Top with cheese. You can choose to bake here if you wish, but to add some nutrition, and taste, I like to add ground flax meal and rosemary on top as well. Sometimes I also like to add a bit of goat cheese, or I substitute the goat for cheddar blend. The ground flax tastes like breadcrumbs and provides you with omega-3s and extra fiber to keep you full.

6. Bake for ABOUT 20 minutes. Check up on your egg by using a fork and making sure the white part of the egg has cooked through and isn't runny. That's how you know it's ready.

Eat up! The egg doesn't look as pretty here since I went a little crazy with the flax and rosemary (and took a couple of bites :) ), but it sure is tasty, and if you don't want flax, don't put it!