Which fruits and vegetables should you eat organic?
Eating fruits and veggies is key to living a healthy life. But with all the junk that’s allowed to happen to your produce before you get it, sometimes it’s hard to know how to eat the right stuff. Organic foods are supposed to be the best for you as they are cultivated without the pesticides, GMO’s and chemicals that ‘regular’ food is made with. But since non-pesticide grown food takes more effort to produce and demand is greater than supply, organic can be expensive!
For me, I’ve known forever that eating organic is better. But when it comes to putting down the extra money every week at the grocery store, it’s sometimes tempting to reach for the cheaper version and save a few bucks.
In the last year, Mo and I have tried to make a few small changes to our food buying priorities that we think are more beneficial in the long run. This includes an few extra euros here and there for organic coffee, eggs and milk.
But when it comes to produce, sometimes it hard to know how to best spend your money when you have two cucumbers right next to each other and one is more than twice the price.
If you would like to eat organic but think the switch is overwhelming or just not financially doable, here are a few thoughts.
You don’t have to switch over this instant to only organic! Every small change is a step in the right direction as you’re doing something good for your body.
But if you do want to start eating better, keeping in mind the dirty dozen and the clean fifteen will help you make the most from your efforts.
Every year the Environmental Working Group (EWG) releases a list of the most contaminated non-organically grown foods and a comparable list of the least toxic conventional grown produce. Here is the list for 2016.
2016 Dirty Dozen:
- Sweet Bell Peppers
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Imported Grapes
A few runners up would be
- Hot Peppers
- Green Beans
- Kale/Collard Greens
2016 Clean Fifteen
- Sweet Corn
- Sweet peas
With the runners up being
- Sweet Potatoes
A rule of thumb is that if you can peel the skin off your produce (like a banana) you are avoiding eating the part that was in direct contact with the pesticide and thus consuming less contaminants.
Don’t forget that these rules often apply to juices and sauces made from these fruits and veggies and even the frozen variety!
If cost is an issue for you,
- try shopping at a local farmers market or joining a co-op which should be cheaper since you buy directly from the source.
- Or consider growing a few of your own fruits and vegetables. Then you will really know what’s going into your food!
- Making deliberate choices, preserving in season and meal planning are great savers as well.
If you find yourself thinking that the cost is still too high to eat organic food just keep in mind the long term health effects of ingesting toxic pesticides.