When and How to Buy Organic Produce
We all want to buy the freshest, healthiest fruits and vegetables for our families, but sometimes all the options and labels can get confusing. Organic produce is a great way of lowering the amount of toxins in your diet that can come from food (via pesticides), but organic produce often costs more than conventionally-grown produce. If you’re interested in buying organic, it’s best to know which items are worth the extra money you’ll pay so you can stretch your shopping dollars.
Each year, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) puts out a list of the produce for which you should definitely buy the organic version and that for which you can just as safely purchase the conventionally-grown version. The EWG recommendations are based on tests that show the amount of pesticide residue left on fruits and vegetables after washing. Here are the most recent findings:
The Dirty Dozen
These are the items for which you should always buy the organic version: invest your money here!
- Bell peppers
- Cherry tomatoes
- Hot peppers
The Clean 15
For these items, you can safely purchase the non-organic, conventionally-grown version (largely due to their having thick peels or skins that aren’t normally consumed). Save money here!
- Sweet corn
- Sweet peas (frozen)
- Sweet potatoes
Julianne Puckett is the creator of Yankee Kitchen Ninja, a blog about what she calls “stealthy homemaking” — healthy recipes that are quick and easy to prepare, DIY gardening tips and the occasional craft project. A designer, writer and former suburban-dwelling IT professional, she lives in rural Vermont, where she struggles to balance the siren call of her inner farmer with her love of cute shoes and cocktails.
Featured image courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens.