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Organic Produce Guide: Eating Organic on a Budget

August 20th, 2013

Organic produce guide - eating organic on a budget

Everyone should eat organic as much as possible. Fruits and vegetables are an important aspect of any healthy lifestyle. Eating healthy can help you live a longer, healthy life, not to mention reduce pricey doctor bills!

Non-organic produce is often loaded with pesticides. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to spend the extra cash to buy everything organic, however, you can reduce your exposure by cutting out those fruits and vegetables that typically harbor the most pesticides.

According to the Environment Working Group, you can drastically cut down your pesticide exposure by switching to organic for the 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables. Take a look at the EWG’s list of 12 Most Contaminated and only buy these items organic on future shopping trips.

In addition to the most contaminated items listed above, Kale/collard Greens and Summer Squash made the Plus List. Although they did not rank in the top 12, they still contain high levels of pesticides. I usually find decent prices on organic apples, celery, potatoes, spinach, and cucumbers at Trader Joe’s.

If you are on a tight budget, you can stick with non-organic for the “Clean Fifteen” items as they contain lower numbers of pesticides. This should save you some money on produce, without sacrificing consuming non-organic on those fruits and vegetables which are most heavily laced with pesticides.

Also, I recommend only buying organic corn, as most corn produced in the US is genetically modified. Stick with GMO free corn. In addition, zucchini and papaya are often genetically modified, so stick with organic versions of these 2 as well if you want to reduce your exposure.

Tips for finding cheap organic produce

-Shop at Trader Joe’s – TJ’s carries a decent supply of organic fruits and vegetables offered at affordable prices. The majority of the time, I can find everything I need for a recipe. If not, I buy what I can and shop for the rest at Whole Foods.

-Check supermarket weekly flyers for special sales and promotions – Search supermarket flyers each week for organic produce deals. I often find great deals at Stop and Shop.

-Grow your own fruits and vegetables – Maintaining your own garden will ensure fresh, organic produce. It takes a little work, but in the end you save so much money.

-Buy frozen fruit and vegetables – Frozen fruits and vegetables last a lot longer, and therefore, never go to waste.

-Shop at local farmers markets – Many local farmers grow high quality- pesticide free produce at affordable prices.

Where is your favorite place to shop for organic produce? Share your tips for getting the best deals!

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