Should you shop organic? Purchase Farmed foods? What about Canned Veggies?
Are you at a crossroads? Can you afford to be healthy?
Organic foods can be substantially more expensive than inorganic. You’ve heard so much “bad” associated with inorganic produce, but… you are on a budget… Will organic broccoli break your bank?
are you headed back to bagels?
or should you buy the inorganic broccoli?
O.k. Stop. Think about it, because really… what are the ingredients in those bagels? How were they made?
How is that rice really, truly processed? My guess is that if price is an issue, and the bagels came cheaper than the broccoli, that is a red flag.
Truth be told: Go organic when you can, but if it is between forgoing the apple for a smoothie, or a bag of chips– my answer is obvious. Apple! The best habit is to always be prepared, and learn to adjust. When possible, hold off until you can come across a better option. I would rather not touch an airport apple, for instance, so I might go for go for a tea, or banana.
That being said, below are the most popularly defined “Dirty Dozen,” and how I do my personal shopping. I may not always purchase organic because it is not necessary. I weigh my options often. I also do the majority of my shopping at grocers that support pesticide-free, and local growers, in addition to more “fresh forward,” conventional growers. This eliminates my need for organics.
12 Most Contaminated
Fruit: Easily contaminated due to its porous and thin skin
- Apples- I will always purchase organic, but if I know that the source is local, and harvests their produce in a strict and clean environment, I will go for local.
- Cherries- I generally will not buy. Too pricey.
- Grapes- Try to go Organic, and avoid imported. We go organic when possible.
- Nectarines- organic/local
- Peaches- organic/local
- Pears- organic/local
- Strawberries- here is where I am bad. A new mother of three kids that formerly would have been eating sugar-laden cereals, eggs and bacon, or bagels and cream cheese, I am thrilled that I can give them a bowl of berries now. That being said, a big thing of organic strawberries for big eaters… not always cost effective, or available. This is perhaps the only fruit I make regular exceptions for. Call me crazy but I am just happy that the kids are happy with their colorful bowl of berries. It sure beats bacon, and white bagels with cream cheese. *The best solution would be to purchase organic and frozen strawberries and make the kids smoothies, or provide them with a different fruit…
Veggies and Leafy Greens
- Celery- I do not buy often, but if you are juicing celery– organic is a definite must.
- Sweet Bell Peppers- I do not buy often because the more nutrient dense peppers (the orange, red, and yellow), will be pricey if you try to purchase organic. There have been times where I purchased inorganic peppers at Whole Foods, but I would not make it a regular occurrence. I would never want to purchase a pepper from a Big Food grocer that does not make health a priority (a.k.a. a discount center), but if it is between inorganic chicken tacos and a bell pepper stir fry, once again, my answer is obvious.
- Spinach- I eat spinach on a regular basis, even juicing it sometimes. Leafy greens should be a staple in everyone’s diet, providing the body with nutrients, and raw living enzymes to support overall health and digestion.
- Lettuce- always. Check out this important article regarding, “irradiation” and why eating organic and local greens is important.
- Potatoes- Potatoes are lacking in nutrients, and converted directly into sugar by the body (and then stored as fat). Check out this article, and opt for a sweet potato instead. Try to go organic and local always. Potatoes are a “Pesticide Intensive” commodity crop.
12 Least Contaminated
- Corn- I would disagree. Always try to buy organic when unsure of it’s source. Corn is a commodity crop. It is produced in the masses and used for a multitude of reasons– from animal feed, to chips, and sweeteners, etc. A commodity crop will generally require more pesticides!
- Frozen Peas
Other foods you may want to know about:
- If you have to have your milk, or soy, MAKE SURE IT IS ORGANIC. Read further on the subjects of Milk and Soy.
- Avoid Farmed Salmon, and other farmed fishies when possible.
- Organic Meats, and Organic and free-range eggs whenever possible. Not only are these inorganically raised animals “hosted” in terrible environments, but the amount of antibiotics and hormones they receive are enough to make the body resistant to medicine, and young girls “develop” far before they should.
- Peanuts are easily contaminated. Avoid peanuts, opting for almond butter instead, if needed.
- Avoid canned tomatoes. Experts say that the combination of the acidity from the tomato and the actual can’s lining is a recipe for disaster. Read on here. Canned foods, in general, are not considered “living” foods. It is better to purchase frozen peas, than canned peas.
Check out this little WebMD slideshow for more a more in depth evaluation of inorganic and organic foods.