While the demand for organic food continues to increase, many still wonder if choosing organic is indeed better for their health, environment, and economy compared to choosing conventional products, particularly as organic food often carries a higher price tag.
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.
What is organic food?
Here are 12 Foods You Never Need to Buy Organic
Avocados are the cleanest piece of produce you can buy. Only 1% of avocado samples showed any trace of pesticides, according to the Environmental Working Group. So if you buy an organic avocado, you’re basically just paying for the sticker.
Kiwi skin is tough enough to protect the flesh from harmful chemicals. Just remove the skin of your non-organic kiwi and you’re good to go.
The skin of a mango will also protect the fruit inside from pesticides. Be sure to wash them thoroughly.
The USDA is just now trying to come up with standards to determine what exactly would make seafood “organic,” and there is much controversy on the topic, as ocean contaminants are a concern even with penned fish. Still, you may soon see locally raised, organically branded seafood on the market (if you already see that, beware, it’s a lie), but it will undoubtedly be over-priced and still in the trial and error stage.
Although corn is sprayed with large amounts of pesticides, those husks protect the delicious kernels beneath. USDA tests have shown that 99% of sweet corn samples have no pesticide residue at all. If you are concerned with GMOs however (that’s another article), you may feel better going organic.
Apparently bugs don’t like asparagus. which means fewer pesticides are used on the vegetable. You don’t have to buy something organic that is naturally organic.
Quinoa does not need pesticides since its bitter taste deters pests. Wash it off just to be sure, but don’t spend the extra money on the off chance that a farmer sprayed it down.
Cabbage has a natural bug and toxin shield. Those outer leaves are protection enough. Just peel off and throw out the outer leaves.
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.
Watermelon has chemical protection built right in. Buying organic is not worth it.
These thick-skinned, tart citrus fruits are safe to pick up in the non-organic aisle.
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!
As you can see here, most produce 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.
The naysayers claim that even the “Dirty Dozen” most pesticide polluted produce is under 2% of the RDA. Opponents claim those recommendations are bogus and meant for adults, not children. Who’s right?
Remember, higher price doesn’t necessarily mean higher quality. That said, 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. If budget is a concern, then buying the non-organic produce on this list is a safe way to save money.