For many, the desire to eat organic is squelched by the lack of ability to pay higher prices for organic foods. This is a terrible situation to be in – choosing between what you can afford and what is more healthy. So what should you do if you find that you cannot afford to have only organic foods on your table? The best answer is to purchase organic in the foods that are known to hold on to pesticides and chemical residues and otherwise purchase non-organic. Or you could try to avoid foods that are known to be high in chemical content if non-organic all together. The trick is to familierize yourself with foods that definitely should never be eaten unless they are organic, and foods that are OK (OK means, not so horrible).
Here is a list, provided by the Environmental Working Group, of the fruits and vegetables that have been found to hold on to pesticides and chemicals, even when washed:
- Sweet bell peppers
- Grapes (Imported)
Here is a list of fruits and vegetables that you can get away with eating non-organic (remember to wash them anyway):
- Sweet Corn (frozen)
- Sweet Peas (frozen)
What about other foods such as dairy and meat products?
Meats that come from factory farms are laced with antibiotics and are generally not that great for other reasons such as the unsanitary conditions associated with factory farms and processing plants. Milk that is not organic contains rBGH, which is used to make cows produce more milk. Humans don’t need rBGH in their own systems. When possible, avoid meat unless you can get pasture raised meat. This will be healthier for your family in the long run. Organic milk and dairy products are definitely better for you and your family.
Here’s the bottom line: Buy organic when you can when it comes to the first list of fruits and vegetables (above) and meat and dairy. With the second list of fruits and vegetables, you can get away with non-organic, but unless they have a thick skin that you will be peeling off, rinse them thoroughly anyway.
With fruits and veggies, grow some of your own if you can – organically of course. Many canned fruits and vegetables are lower in pesticides and chemicals because of the vigorous washing process they go through, plus they have usually been peeled – so consider purchased canned goods.
If you cannot afford to go completely organic, you’re not alone. Try to choose wisely and do what you can to minimize the effects of pesticides and chemicals on your meals.