It’s not worth the money to buy organic seafood because the USDA hasn’t developed organic certification standards for seafood. This means that being labeled organic does not guarantee that either wild or farmed fish is free of mercury or PCBs. California has a new law that prohibits seafood producers from using the term organic on fish and other seafood until state or federal standards are established.
Finally, don’t despair if your food budget doesn’t allow for organic foods. It’s better to eat conventionally grown fruits and vegetables than none at all. Remember that there is very limited evidence that organic produce is that much more nutritious than conventional produce. And you can limit your exposure to pesticides in your produce by buying fruits and vegetables in season, scrubbing them in clean water (no soap), trimming the tops and outer portions of leafy vegetables, and peeling and cooking them, if possible. As for meat, poultry, and fish, pesticides are more concentrated in animal fat, so you can reduce your exposure by trimming your meat of fat and removing the skin and fat from poultry and fish.
For more information on organic foods and products, visit the Organic Trade Association’s Web site at www.ota.com. The Organic Trade Association represents the organic industry in the United States, Canada, and Mexico, and its members include growers, retailers, shippers, and certification organizations.