written by Janet Valenty

When to buy Organic and when not to buy Organic.

fruits and veggies

There are many reasons you should purchase organic products at the grocery store. Foods with a USDA Organic label are not grown with chemical pesticides, genetically modified or treated with sewage or petroleum-based pesticides.

We have the best intentions at the grocery store, but ultimately it comes down to a question of cost. Many families cannot afford to purchase all organic produce. However, you can make good choices that will help you avoid putting pesticides in your body while saving money.

Just about anything with a hard shell or skin will be relatively safe to buy non-organic. The foods you need to look out for when trying to avoid pesticides are those with high water content, such as berries, melons, just about all leafy greens and celery.

Examples of Safe Foods

Onions

You’re not the only one crying over onions. Onions are naturally resistant to pests, so big-agriculture companies have no reason to dump excess pesticides on onion crops. There is no evidence that organic onions have more health benefits than traditionally grown onions.

Avocados

These fatty, delicious fruits are great on salads, but they are not on the menu of many insects. The avocado’s thick skin helps shield them from bugs, so this crop does not require a lot of pesticides. That skin also prevents any chemicals that are used from getting to the green center we all love to eat.

Coconuts

Coconut oil and water seem like they are at the top of every healthy conscious person’s list these days. The good news is this fruit’s thick outer shell is virtually impenetrable by pesticides. Several studies have shown that hardly any pesticide residue is found in the majority of coconut products. So, whether you eat the raw fruit, or put coconut oil in your hair, there will likely be no nasty chemicals to deal with!

Go Organic or Go Home

Apples

These fruits are one of the most commonly contaminated non-organic items on grocery store shelves. The reason apples are so heavy with pesticides is that they are so difficult to grow without them. Fungus and pests love them as much as you do because they are soft and rot easily. If you must purchase non-organic apples, you can avoid some of the pesticide residue by removing the peel, but you will also be throwing away valuable nutrients and fiber.

Celery

Celery has one of the highest water contents of all vegetables. It is easy to see why it would contain many pesticides. As the plant grows, it soaks up huge amounts of water. Chemicals are suspended in the water and then end up on your plate.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes are another salad ingredient with high water content and a fragile skin which pesticides have no trouble penetrating. The good news is they are incredibly easy to grow. If you can’t find suitable organic tomatoes in your area, all you need is some quality organic seeds and you’ll be eating harvesting your own organic bounty in no time.

All Leafy Vegetables

Again as a result of the high water content, just about all leafy vegetables are likely to contain relatively high levels of pesticides. And since lettuces and spinach are the staple of most healthy salads, best to budget to go organic with these greens.

Don’t get me wrong. If you can go organic with all your produce choices, then do it. These tips apply to availability and budget. The good news is as more and more people switch to organic foods, the prices are going down and the selection is increasing.

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