If you are looking to buy more produce for your family, it’s important to understand why Organic produce should be an option that you look for before anything else.
While buying Organic may not be feasible to everyone, it is necessary for your health. Not only is it important to buy Organic .. it’s important to know why you are taking that route for your family.
If you are on a budget crunch, the BEST way to start incorporating more organic items is by following the Shoppers Guide to Pesticides in Produce.
The 2016 EWG version is based on the results of pesticide tests performed on produce, and collected by several federal agencies across the last nine year period. The following had the highest pesticide load – making them the most important to buy organic versions (if you don’t grow them yourself)…
- Sweet Bell Peppers
- Cherry Tomatoes
See the Clean 15 list here.
Although Corn and Papayas ARE on the list, they are ALSO usually GMO – Genetically Modified, ..so although they are on the Clean 15 list, they might be two to try to stay away from.
Here are some staggering statistics from the EWG Food News Summary:
- 99 percent of apple samples, 98 percent of peaches, and 97 percent of nectarines tested positive for at least one pesticide residue.
- The average potato had more pesticides by weight than any other produce.
- A single grape sample and a sweet bell pepper sample contained 15 pesticides.
- Single samples of cherry tomatoes, nectarines, peaches, imported snap peas and strawberries showed 13 different pesticides a piece.
What’s the BIG Deal?!
Are chemicals REALLY just “okay” for your body? Are you really that willing to listen to food manufacturers, driven by profits, who justify that there really isn’t any worry in any of these pesticides in small amounts?
Organic crops are better for you, for one reason: ANY form of chemicals can have a negative impact on your body.
Heavy use of pesticides has a wrenching effect on the soil … and since good soil health is essential for good bacteria, and good bacteria is something our gut truly needs.… then pesticide use DOES have an affect on your body.
Eating Organic is always better. You family’s health is not the only reason to choose to shop organic – buying or growing your own organic is good for the environment more so than pesticide and herbicide use.
Rinse or Wash Off Pesticides?
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but there is no magic solution that will wash off your pesticides – they touch more than just the topical outside areas of the fruit. Pesticides are used, in some cases, to coat the seed, before planting – making them impossible to be “washed off” when they grow with the life of the plant.
It’s kind of like eating poorly, but wanting to detox – you can’t just take a shower to remove the harmful effects of poor eating – it has to start from the inside 😉
Save on Organic Produce
As many times as you can find Organic produce in your grocery store, it’s wiser to join a local CSA – a cooperative group, where you can buy your produce from a local farmer. Not only will you know where your produce comes from, you are helping a local farmer who has the same mindset as you.
It can sometimes be a challenge, as the grocery ads will often highlight their opinion of great deals on Strawberries, and popular in-season produce for that grocery week. Meanwhile… keep in mind that these items are enticements to get you into the store to drop more cash on other items (over 80% of which are processed).
By avoiding sales ads altogether, you eliminate your need to depend on the store and find other routes to save.
Stretching your paycheck is probably your first priority, you should also be concerned about what you are buying WITH that money too.
Here are a few ways to save on Organic Produce:
Join a CSA: There are weekly CSA Boxes/Bags you commit to – for a full or half share… and by joining your local CSA you are supporting your local farmer and their personal goals of supporting Organic produce. Find local CSA’s for Phoenix HERE – one that they didn’t include is also Taste of Paradise – which is in the East Valley.
Start Small. Take it a little at a time. Small changes, over time, can add up. Start with the Dirty Dozen
Shop at Costco. Costco has some fantastic deals on Organic produce – both fresh and frozen. You can see our last post on 20 Organic Items you will want to buy at Costco for a breakdown in prices.
Plant your Own. IF you have outdoor space (even indoor space works too!), plant a few container vegetables or a small garden. Try for those vegetables and produce items you know you will use the most.
It takes daily work and effort but the results are rewarding! Check out your area to see if there is a community garden – you can also pick up GMO-Free Seeds by State – we listed below (get the FULL list for ALL states HERE).
Forego the Appearance of Deals. Take note of the dirty dozen – avoid buying them. Just stop buying them completely. Stick with your CSA, and incorporate those into your meals. If a sale rolls around for Organic Berries or Produce, take advantage and stock up.
In the End
Each of us is different. Our unique bodies react different to the chemicals we ingest and use topically. Although unimportant and small in amount for many, that toxicity build up can have adverse effects. Perhaps the items you do ingest have some effect on your health now, if not.. then they will at some point in your lifetime.
Eating differently might not be convenient.
Eating differently is NOT popular.
When faced with cheap, processed food choices with coupons and sales ads, marketing tactics and a budget you are trying to stretch, it really isn’t easy. It’s not meant to be.
Your health is something that should be incredibly important to you. Eating the BEST food and making the best lifestyle choices should be your goal.