Choose Organic Produce Where It Matters Most
Here are some ways to stay within your budget while significantly reducing your pesticide load:
- Choose organic where it counts, such as when purchasing apples, bell peppers, carrots, celery, cherries, grapes (imported), kale, lettuce, nectarines, peaches, pears, potatoes, strawberries, and sweet peppers, whose conventionally grown versions contain the most pesticides. (Source: EWG)
- Know when you can skip organic. While there are many reasons to buy organic foods, not everyone can find fresh organic produce at their supermarket, or afford the premium price tags. Certain fruits and vegetables are very low in pesticide residues so buying organic isn’t as important. Some examples include: asparagus, avocados, onions, sweet corn, pineapple, mango and grapefruit.
- Choose low-fat organic or grass-fed milk and meat. Toxins tend to accumulate in animal fat.
- Wash all produce. Washing helps remove pesticides and bacteria introduced during handling and shipping.
- Steam leafy greens. Cooking vastly reduces pesticides and E. coli and retains most nutrients.
- Peel carrots, cucumbers, etc. This won’t get at the systemic pesticides that are inside, but it will remove any that are on or in the skin.
- Buy local. Regional farms serving local markets can skip the harsh chemicals that are used on crops intended for distant markets. Local Harvest makes it easy to find local food outlets in your area.
- Buy frozen. Flash-freezing locks in nutrients. Use Local Harvest to find stores that sell frozen organic produce grown in your region.
- Make more meals from scratch using fresh, whole, local ingredients. You’ll save money and avoid not only pesticides but also unhealthy additives like sugar, salt and fat.
photo: Lisa Beebe