This post was created using information from WebMd and AllYou.
If you’ve been through the produce section at your local store, or wandered the aisles at Whole Foods, you know that buying organic products can be ex-pen-sive!  These items can cost 50-100% more than their conventional counterparts. And most people, myself included, can’t afford to buy All Organic, All the Time.  So, how do you choose when and where to spend your organic budget?

Buy these Organic when possible:

These items tend to retain the most pesticide residue, so buy organic whenever possible for these (especially if you are pregnant, or feeding these to children):

  • Peaches
  • Apples
  • Bell Peppers
  • Celery
  • Strawberries
  • Cherries
  • Pears
  • Nectarines
  • Grapes
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Milk & Dairy products (if you can’t afford organic, at least go with items marked rBGH-free. Which means the cow wasn’t given any growth hormones to produce more milk)
  • Beef (if you can’t afford organic, at least go with items marked rBGH-free or say “no antibiotics” or “hormone-free”. Which means the cow wasn’t given any growth hormones)
  • Peanut Butter
  • Baby Food
  • Blueberries
  • Kale

Where you can “slide”, but be sure to wash these items thoroughly before eating:

  • Anything that you discard the peel: bananas, mangos, pineapple, avocado, onions, corn
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Peas
  • Asparagus
  • Kiwifruit
  • Eggplant
  • Cantaloupe
  • Watermelon
  • Grapefruit
  • Sweet Potato
  • Honeydew Melon

Check out this handy guide for your wallet!

Wallet guides for buying Seafood

If your budget is tight, Skip buying these “organic”:

  • Packaged and canned items, except for baby food items

Money-Saving Tips for Buying Organic:

  • Grow it Yourself
  • Shop the local Farmers’ Market
  • Sign up for a CSA
  • Buy Frozen organic produce
  • Buy the Generic organic brand, if possible (see shopping guides)

Definition of Terms

  • 100% Organic: This means the food has no synthetic ingredients and can use the organic seal.
  • Organic: This means the food has a minimum of 95% organic ingredients. It can also use the organic seal.
  • Made with Organic Ingredients: This means the food must contain at least 70% organic ingredients. These foods cannot use the seal.
  • USDA Organic: “Don’t confuse “free-range,” “hormone free,” or “natural” with organic. Look for the organic seal. That means the food is grown, harvested, and processed according to USDA standards that include restrictions on amounts and residues of pesticides, hormones, and antibiotics. Natural pesticides are allowed. Organic foods cannot be treated with any sewage sludge, bioengineering, or ionizing radiation.” ~WebMD

As always, stock up on your organic and natural product coupons!

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