The truth is, organic food and consumer products can be and often are pricier than their conventional counterparts. It seems quite ridiculous that products that are produced in a cleaner, more environmentally friendly manner are more costly but, I will save that discussion for another day. Even though buying organic is the best way to reduce your toxic load, not everyone can afford to spend their grocery budget on organic products alone. However, there are ways to offset the costs so that your overall expenses in going organic won’t be much more than what you currently spend. All it takes is learning which products require more pesticides and therefore would require a no compromise approach.
Although the certified organic label demonstrates the purity of that product, there are other choices without the label that are just as healthy. For example, your local market may sell homemade products made from ingredients from someone who gardens organically. They may not use any additives or fillers in their products so they would be fresh and natural and probably half the cost of the certified organic ones. The Environmental Working Group also assessed nearly 1,200 foods and hand-picked the best 100 that pack in nutrients at a good price, with the fewest pesticides, contaminants and artificial ingredients. Check out this list by going tohttp://www.ewg.org/goodfood/. Lastly, it is important to note that many small family farmers choose not to go through the organic certification process because of the costs involved but are still using organic practices. It would behoove you to ask them if their food is organic as these products will be the freshest and more affordable.
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) states that you can lower your pesticide exposure by almost 90 percent by avoiding conventional versions of the top 12 most-contaminated fruits and vegetables. They created a list in order of most-to-least contaminated and this is a helpful way to prioritize which fruits and veggies to buy organic. Check out EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce to help you shop smart.
The Dirty Dozen
The EWG reports that these 12 fruits and vegetables (The Dirty Dozen) tested HIGHEST in pesticide residue.
3. Sweet Bell Peppers
The Clean 15
The EWG reports that these 15 fruits and vegetables (the Clean 15) tested LOWEST in pesticide residue which means these pose a lesser concern than the ones listed above. If you can’t buy these organic at least you know they have lower levels of chemicals!
2. Sweet Corn
6. Sweet Peas (frozen)
12. Sweet Potatoes
SLN’s Take Home Message
You should stick to the organic label as much as possible however, don’t miss out on good products and good food because they’re not labeled “certified organic”. A little research and education on which foods are highly chemical laden will allow you to make the healthiest choices without breaking your budget. Investigate if local farmers are organic gardeners and purchase these foods at your local farmers market or grocery store since not all organic farmers have gotten certification due to cost.
Read my previous post on the “Sociopathic Traits of Endocrine Disrupters” to learn about what chemicals to avoid in the foods and products you use. Another relevant post discusses the harmful effects of food additives on increasing allergy rates.
We Also RecommenD Download It!
Get the “What’s On My Food” App to determine what pesticides are on the foods you eat. It compares coventional foods to organic foods. Great App!!