The discussion of organics becomes more popular all the time, with more people and organizations stressing how organic is the way to go when selecting food, especially produce. Due to the amount of pesticides, antibiotics, hormones, fertilizers and other chemicals used on large domestic and imported crops, not to mention the effects this has on the environment and our health, choosing local, organic produce feels like a necessity for some.
However, for all the good organics offer, the price is still steep for many consumers, begging the question how important is it to buy organic? It seems some produce items are dirtier and treated with more chemicals than other, making those worth your while for frequent purchases, and you can save money on other standard produce.
The dirtiest 12 produce items include (should buy organic):
1. Peaches (highest pesticide)
3. Sweet Bell Peppers
The cleanest 12 produce items include:
1. Onion (lowest pesticide)
3. Frozen Sweet Corn
6. Frozen Sweet Peas
Whether you’re shopping from the cleanest list or the dirtiest, be sure you’re always washing the fruits and vegetables thoroughly. Use warm water, a cleaning cloth for soft skins and a scrubber for tougher skins.
Tips for going organic more affordably:
1. Grow your own garden using organic soils, seeds and do not use fertilizers or pesticides.
2. Shop local farmer’s markets for organic produce, meats, jellies and breads.
3. Shop local co-ops for bulk items like organic rice.
4. Join a food buyers club. These local organizations let you pay in as a group and buy direct from wholesalers.
5. Watch for sales at your supermarket and health food stores. Stock up and freeze or can bulk items for later.