Monday, March 12, 2007

Frugal Priorities on the Organic Food Chain: What's Best to Buy Organic

I've been writing about my organic food club over the last week. My Two Dollars has also posted an excellent item about the health value of organic food.

But if you don't have the funds for organic produce, Consumer Reports has an excellent guide that will help you set money-saving priorities by offering tips about what's best to buy organic and what's okay to get from the standard (non-organic) produce section. The guide also provides links to other organic food sources, including tips for getting organic food for less and information about pesticides on fruits and veggies.

Here are items that are best to buy organic:

"Apples, bell peppers, celery, cherries, imported grapes,nectarines, peaches, pears, potatoes, red raspberries, spinach, and

Why: The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s own lab testing
reveals that even after washing, some fruits and vegetables consistently carry
much higher levels of pesticide residue than others.

Based on an analysis of more than 100,000 U.S. government pesticide test results, researchers at the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a research and advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C., have developed the “dirty dozen” fruits and vegetables, above, that they say you should always buy organic if possible because their conventionally grown counterparts tend to be laden with pesticides. Among fruits, nectarines had the highest percentage testing positive for pesticide residue.

Peaches and red raspberries had the most pesticides (nine) on a single sample. Among vegetables, celery and spinach most often carried pesticides, with spinach having the highest number (10) on a single sample --Consumer Reports

It's also best to buy baby food, meat, milk and eggs from organic sources, according to Consumer Reports. In contrast, it's less of a priority to shop organically for these items:

Asparagus, avocados, bananas, broccoli, cauliflower,
sweet corn, kiwi, mangoes, onions, papaya, pineapples, and sweet peas.

Why:Multiple pesticide residues are, in general, rarely found on conventionally grown versions of these fruits and vegetables, according to research by the EWG.

Meanwhile, tonight we will receive our bi-weekly shipment of organic food. We share pick-up duties with a neighbor. This arrangement saves gas since we only have to do pickup duties once a month.



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