Friday, June 17, 2011

Organic vs. Non-Organic Produce

Most of ya'll know I try to buy organic...because of the cost, it's just not possible for us to afford everything organic.  So I try to be smart, and buy organic from the "dirty dozen" list, as published on the Environmental Working Group (EWG) website.  Of the dirty dozen, apples are at the top — the worst in pesticide residues.  Next are celery, strawberries, peaches and spinach.  I usually buy organic produce at Trader Joe's as it is much cheaper than Publix and/or Whole Foods.  Organic strawberries are hard to find, and I'll admit I've never bought an organic strawberry....but apples, celery, peaches and carrots I buy organic 90% of the time!

There is also the “clean fifteen” list of conventional fruits and vegetables that are ok to not buy organic because they have a thick skin that is not penetrated as much by pesticides.   Of the “clean” group, onions are first, followed by sweet corn, pineapples, avocado and asparagus.

Go here to see the complete 2011 Shopper’s Guide from Environmental Working Group.
They found that you could actually reduce your exposure to pesticide residues by over 90% if you buy only from the clean 15 list.

Of course it is best to buy organic when you can and when it is available. But, why spend the extra bucks for organic when you can save some money by buying high on the list of the “clean fifteen?”
Another alternative is to grow your own organic vegetables — which is what we're trying this year...we've used compost from my parent's pile, organic seeds and plants, and NO pesticides or growth hormones.  We've just harvested our first tomatoes and because I don't like straight raw tomatoes, I have to trust my husband's word...but he say they're delish.  We've also been adding basil to many dishes, and it adds so much flavor!  More pictures of the growing veggies to come...

So...what do you buy that is organic or not?

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