I did some "figuring" earlier this month and realized I was spending way too much on groceries. Now mind you the months under analysis were November and December, in which we all go a little overboard in the grocery category. Anyway, I have been carefully re-evaluating my food selections, with a tighter budget in mind. The thought of reducing some of my spending on organic foods has crossed my mind, but not wanting to take risks of exposing myself to unnecessary carcinogens, I had to make this decision wisely. Remembering hearing someone write about "the dirty dozen", I did some research. Here are 12 foods that you should absolutely eat only when organically grown:
- Meat Products - the animals are gobbling up pesticide ridden feed and plants
- Dairy - see above. Also non-organic versions are full of growth hormones and antibiotics
- Strawberries - literally doused with pesticides
- Apples - eating only organic will keep the doctor away, non-organic full of neurotoxins
- Potatoes - pesticides and fungicides (used to treat the soil)
- Spinach and leafy green vegetables - some of the most toxic chemicals applied
- Coffee - often grown in unregulated countries, only God knows what was sprayed (my recommendation First Colony Fair Trade Organic - smooth as a baby's bottom!
- Peaches and Nectarines
- Grapes - especially imported
- Bell Peppers (Red and Green) - the most heavily sprayed
I also try to buy only organic corn, peanut butter and soy products, because most of those products in the US are genetically modified.
So there you have it, your guide to organic must buys. I realize that it may be difficult to buy much of this as organic, especially meat, but try to replace some of your meat items with beans, tofu or high protein grains like quinoa a few meals a week. Buy fruits when in season in bulk from organic farmers and freeze or can like grandma used to do back in the day. This could offset the higher costs of the healthier options.
Send this to your phone as a text message, so you have with you when shopping. Or click here, for a shopper's guide from the Environmental Working Group, ranks pesticide content of produce from high to low.