Most people buy organic food because it is better for them, because they are concerned about their exposure to pesticides or because they think it is better for the environment. But, let”s face it, not all of us can afford to spend about $500 more a year on our food so that we would buy only organic produce. That is why it is so important to know what foods are more likely to be full of pesticides and the extra cost makes a good sense.
What is available in the organic market?
The list of most popular organic vegetables and fruits looks almost the same as any other grocery list: potatoes, tomatoes, baby carrots, cauliflower and onions among vegetables, and strawberries, Valencia oranges, kiwi , grapefruit and lemons. They are not only available from specialty shops and markets, but in most large food stores. The large food producers also jumped on the lucrative organic food wagon. Big names like Giant and Whole Foods have their own organic segment. Since they are able to get much better deals with individual organic farmers, the organic food sold by them is significantly cheaper.
What is worth it and what is not?
Although the popularity of organic food is drawing price down and much closer to that of the traditional food, the difference is still sufficient in tough financial times that not everyone can afford to eat organic, if it means a few extra dollars, even if they would like to. But, we can at least make sure that we buy organic vegetables which would normally be most polluted by pesticides. US Environmental Working Group conducted 47,000 tests on fresh vegetables and found that the most polluted vegetables are:
- Sweet Bell Pepper
According to the same report, some vegetables are not prone to the accumulation of pesticides and do not show serious quantity of toxic chemicals. The least polluted vegetables are:
- Frozen Sweet Corn
- Frozen Sweet Peas
Choosing organic food is not the only consideration when shopping for food. It is also important to buy locally and support local farmers. That also assures that the food is really fresh and did not travel around the world before coming to your plate. The origin of food matters too: food labeled organic in India and China might not be exactly organic according to American and Canadian standards.
Another important consideration when thinking of saving money on organic food is the cost of medical care that goes with eating polluted food. This is especially important for babies and children. In addition, traditional food producers do not account for the environmental damage chemicals ” “based agriculture is causing, and which we will all have to pay one day.
Shopping organic is now the same as any other shopping: do your homework, shop around, compare prices and make your list of priorities.