Saturday, January 8, 2011

Eating Well in the New Year...Organic or Not?

I often find myself facing a dilemma amongst the produce at the grocery store. I know that buying organic is healthier, but is it really worth the difference in price? Which foods should I buy organic and which ones should I not? Save money or reduce my family's intake of harmful pesticides? 

Organic? Or Not?

Solution Part 1:  I found a helpful list that I saved in my phone so that I have it handy for my produce department dilemmas.
I buy any of the Clean 15, then watch for sales in the organic section from the "Dirty Dozen." If I am near a Trader Joes, I can often find great deals on organic produce such as apples or salad greens. Now I do not alway adhere strictly to this list, but when financially possible I try to buy foods with the least amount of harmful chemicals.

Clean 15 (Lowest Amounts of Pesticides - Safest Non-Organic)
  • Onion
  • Avocado
  • Sweet Corn
  • Pineapple
  • Mango
  • Sweet Peas
  • Asparagus
  • Kiwi
  • Cabbage
  • Eggplant
  • Cantaloupe
  • Watermelon
  • Grapefruit
  • Sweet Potato
  • Honeydew 
  • Melon

Dirty Dozen - Buy These Organic (or limit consumption)

  • Celery
  • Peaches
  • Strawberries
  • Apples
  • Blueberries
  • Nectarines
  • Bell Peppers
  • Spinach
  • Cherries
  • Kale/ Collard Greens
  • Potatoes
  • Grapes (Imported)
Solution Part 2: During the summer and fall my family buys a share of fresh, local, chemical free produce from a CSA farm. Last summer we bought a share from Rare Earth Farms. I was quite pleased with the variety and amount of produce. We enjoyed fresh and clean food all summer and into the fall. We were also able to freeze a bit too for the winter. 

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