I have been enjoying organic food for about 20 years now. I decided a long time ago that I did not want to consume all of the pesticides, fungicides and herbicides sprayed on fruit and vegetables. I also did not want to eat genetically modified foods (GMO). I’m relieved that I made this choice many years ago. Since my transition to organic, I have done much reading and conference attending to learn and implement proper nutrition into my household for the health of myself and my loved ones. Back when I started converting my entire kitchen to organic the prices were much higher. Now that there is a bigger demand for cleaner organic foods the prices are dropping which is a blessing to our wallets.
Even though organic food is priced a little higher than conventional foods, I think the extra cost is well worth it.
Now, having said that, there are some exceptions to organic shopping you can consider if you cannot make your entire grocery list organic.
There are some food items that I would definitely buy organic and others that aren’t so important to get organic.
In my case everything I use at home from herbs and spices to beans, pastas, rice, oil, flour etc. is organic and non-GMO. This did not happen overnight. It took me many years to convert my kitchen entirely to organic.
Top of my list is STRAWBERRIES. They are one of the highest sprayed fruits on the market today. I will not eat a strawberry that isn’t organic. When we go to restaurants and they offer a nice spinach and strawberry salad on the menu, I opt for the other salad options. Conventional strawberries have undergone intensive analysis by the “Enviromental Working Group” (EWG) these studies have shown strawberries have 13 pesticides on them. The seed laden flesh of the strawberry makes it difficult to properly wash off all of this residue so you will be ingesting these toxins when eating conventional strawberries. The fruit is so delicate that washing too aggressively will damage the berry. Always opt for organic strawberries!
PEACHES and NECTARINES are another highly sprayed fruit as they are so vulnerable to insects. If you can’t find organic peaches in your supermarket then your best bet is to buy organic canned peaches.
APPLES are highly sprayed too. Pay the extra money for these fruits and rest assured that you are eating clean. When you think of how many small children are given “apple juice” daily….think of the pesticide residue in the juice. Apples were ranked number one on the list of top sprayed fruits and veggies in 2015. Strawberries beat them for top spot this year.
Other fruits and veggies that are on the EWG list of most contaminated foods:
- sweet bell peppers
- cherry tomatoes
There are some fruits and veggies that are not so vulnerable to the conventional pesticides, fungicides and herbicides. These foods are OK to buy conventional if you need to prioritize your shopping list in such a way.
- Sweet corn (although I avoid conventional corn because a lot of corn is GMO)
- sweet peas (frozen)
- papayas (again watch out for GMO’s)
- Honey Dew Melon
Glyphosate is the most used pesticide in conventional farming today. Studies show that people who eat non-organic conventional produce have higher levels of this toxin in their urine than people who strive to eat organic produce. The studies have found glyphosate in cows, humans and rabbits. It’s out there folks and with the increased numbers of people getting ill with serious diseases…stop to consider this.
Eating organic is the best way to lower the amount of pesticide residue in your body. Studies show that people who eat organic most or all of the time have 65% less toxic residue than those eating conventional foods.
If you can’t grocery shop for all of your fruit and veggies organically then refer to the lists above and prioritize which you should be getting organic for the health of your family.