While I’d like to buy all organic fruits and vegetables, it’s not feasible for our food budget. During the summer months, it’s easy to know what chemicals are on our vegetables (none) because we try to grow most of them ourselves. When I head to the grocery store, however, there are certain fruits and vegetables that I only buy organic. How do I make this decision? I follow the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) recommendations for clean fruits and vegetables.
EWG breaks down fruits and vegetables into different categories based on the amount of pesticides used on the foods. I use this list to make our organic and non-organic produce buying decisions.
The Clean 15
These are the fruits and vegetables that I buy that are conventionally grown.
- Sweet Corn
- Sweet peas
- Domestic cantaloupe
- Sweet potatoes
The Dirty 14
These are the fruits and vegetables that I spend the money on to buy organic.
- Sweet bell peppers
- Imported nectarines
- Domestic blueberries
- Green beans
- Leafy greens
I also only buy organic carrots although they aren’t on this list. Here’s why I skip the baby carrots and go with the long ones.
What do I do when the vegetable garden that’s jammed into every corner of our yard is done giving us good, healthy food? Or the incredible farmers’ markets come to a close for the season? Or when I’ve run out of food because my teenagers have devoured it all (again!)? I look for the Earthbound Farm Organic products at my regular grocery store. They’ve got what I would rather grow myself except that our growing season comes to an end – and the rain settles in to stay.
What I like about Earthbound Farm Organic, is that they’ve made organic fruits and vegetables affordable and accessible to many people around the country. Their products are reasonably priced and I’m getting quality, certified organic produce. They also come in containers that I can easily recycle and that don’t squish the lettuce (and lettuces!).
It’s fast food, too
What do we buy? Their packaged organic salads, lettuces and greens. They’re priced right in line with conventional salads and are a quick and easy way to get healthy food on the table. They also have smaller packages of greens that can be eaten for lunch on the go. That’s my kind of fast food!
Deciding whether to buy organic or non-organic fruits and vegetables is a tough decision for me. Mostly because I would like all organic – all the time – but, understandably, it costs more and with a hungry family, we can’t do it for everything all the time.
How do you decide between organic and non-organic produce choices? What’s your method?
Go Gingham related links:
Saving seeds and reusing them in the garden!
My non-gardener-gardening-strategy – yes, non gardeners can fake it
Three easy herbs to grow – you won’t be able to kill these, I promise!
Composting tips – add richness to your soil with scraps from the kitchen
Raised garden beds – It’s easy to convert grass to growing space
Earthbound Farm – farm stand tour
My trip to Earthbound Farm including a tractor ride!
Our grid-garden using “Square Foot Gardening” methods – using wood scraps and twine
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