Organic vs. Conventional Produce

Recently, I have been trying to transition our household to mostly organic foods. After a trip to a local grocery store specializing in organic and whole foods, I walked out with 2 bags of groceries for $80. It was time to rethink my plan. I want the best for my family, but $4/bag pasta is a bit outside the realm of reality. So, what now? There has to be a balance of organic versus conventional foods. With the shelves of our grocery stores being bombarded with genetically modified foods a health conscious shopper can get overwhelmed with a trip to the grocery store. GM corn and soy is in practically everything! It is so easy to tell someone “Don’t buy processed foods.” That is all fine and good, but let’s get real. Not every mom has time (or the money) to create 3 organic, non-GMO, non-processed meals a day plus snacks.

Every battle is won with a small victories, so start small. Take 2-3 foods that you use regularly and switch to organic. Since fruits and vegetables are in everyone’s kitchen, let’s start there.

Dirty Dozen, Clean Fifteen

Fruits and Vegetables

Dr. Mercola created these handy lists to help us out!

Of the 48 different fruit and vegetable categories tested by the EWG (Environmental Working Group) for the 2013 guide, the following 15 fruits and vegetables had the highest pesticide load, making them the most important to buy or grow organically:

Apples Celery Cherry tomatoes
Cucumbers Grapes Hot peppers
Nectarines (imported) Peaches Potatoes
Spinach Strawberries Sweet bell peppers
Kale Collard greens Summer squash

In contrast, the following foods were found to have the lowest residual pesticide load, making them the safest bet among conventionally grown vegetables. Note that a small amount of sweet corn and most Hawaiian papaya, although low in pesticides, are genetically engineered (GE). If you’re unsure of whether the sweet corn or papaya is GE, I’d recommend opting for organic varieties:

Asparagus Avocado Cabbage
Cantaloupe Sweet corn (non-GMO) Eggplant
Grapefruit Kiwi Mango
Mushrooms Onions Papayas (non-GMO. Most Hawaiian papaya is GMO)
Pineapple Sweet peas (frozen) Sweet potatoes

By introducing organic foods into your family’s diet, a little at a time you can still get that mother/father of the year award without breaking the bank!

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