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5 Things: Go Organic With These Foods

With so much talk about organic foods, we all know that they are healthier for us and better for the planet, but our budget doesn't always agree. Organic foods can be absurdly expensive, so which foods are most important to get organic?

Pediatrician, Dr. Alan Greene, whose new book Raising Baby Green, discusses ways to raise children in an environmentally-friendly way. Here are the five foods he recommends that can have the biggest impact on your diet:

  • Milk: Conventional milk usually comes from cows that are treated with artificial hormones and antibiotics. They are most likely fed grain that includes pesticides, and all that goes into the milk you drink. Choosing organic milk decreases the amount of chemicals you consume.
  • Potatoes: This popular staple in our diet accounts for 30% of overall vegetable consumption. Commercially grown taters are some of the most pesticide-contaminated veggies. A 2006 USDA test found that 81% of potatoes still contained pesticides after being washed and peeled. Yuck.

Want to see the rest? Then

  • Peanut butter: According to the USDA, more than 99% of peanut farms use conventional farming practices, which includes using fungicides to prevent mold growth. Do you want that on your next PB and J?
  • Ketchup: Recent research found that organic ketchup has double the antioxidants of conventional ketchup. Plus I think it tastes fresher too.
  • Apples: This fruit, eaten raw and made into juice, is so popular, but it's also one of the most pesticide-contaminated fruits. Look for organic apples (especially during this time of year).

Obviously, this list isn't meant to be the Bible of organic foods, but it's a good approach. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by having to buy everything organic, try to make it about incorporating some organic foods into your diet. Begin with the foods you eat most, but don't break the bank buying organic.

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Yulnev Yulnev 8 years
Personally, since health is one of the few things you can't buy pre-packaged, I don't think food is worth saving money on - you'll spend more on medicine later on in life, I'd rather hold out on other things (shopping/eating out/etc.). But everyone has their own preferences... As for convenience, I always managed to find a market or a store nearby that carried fresh organic produce, as long as I looked hard enough. I guess i was lucky=) That being said not everything organic is necessarily better (especially w/ Walmart organics in the picture). Some locally grown conventional veggies could be a lot better than commercial organics (an oxymoron in itself, as organic movement starting out with an emphasis on eating local and suppoting small farmers).
Yulnev Yulnev 8 years
Personally, since health is one of the few things you can't buy pre-packaged, I don't think food is worth saving money on - you'll spend more on medicine later on in life, I'd rather hold out on other things (shopping/eating out/etc.). But everyone has their own preferences...As for convenience, I always managed to find a market or a store nearby that carried fresh organic produce, as long as I looked hard enough. I guess i was lucky=)That being said not everything organic is necessarily better (especially w/ Walmart organics in the picture). Some locally grown conventional veggies could be a lot better than commercial organics (an oxymoron in itself, as organic movement starting out with an emphasis on eating local and suppoting small farmers).
emalove emalove 8 years
I buy as many organic products as I can, such as produce, milk, eggs, etc. I do buy organic potatoes, but I have never bought organic peanut butter. I will have to add it to my list. If you can afford to buy only/mostly organic, then surely do it...however, like some other people pointed out, that isn't always possible for everyone. I think that most people WANT to eat organic, but not everyone has the means.
Allytta Allytta 8 years
organic apples are 4 times more expensive :( such a shame.
nikodarling nikodarling 8 years
I wish I could afford to buy all organic, but its just not reasonable. It can also be hard to find, most grocery stores have a small selection of organic offerings. Some days I can't justify driving to the other side of the city to pick up organic food and I'm stuck getting whatever is at my local store.
DCStar DCStar 8 years
I try to buy organic, healthy products. That being said, In 1994, the FDA concluded that no significant difference has been shown between milk derived from rBST-treated and non-rBST-treated cows, nor does any test exist which can differentiate between milk from rBST-treated and non-rBST treated cows.Personally I drink Soy Milk, but that's for those of you out there worrying about milk with hormones.
DCStar DCStar 8 years
I try to buy organic, healthy products. That being said, In 1994, the FDA concluded that no significant difference has been shown between milk derived from rBST-treated and non-rBST-treated cows, nor does any test exist which can differentiate between milk from rBST-treated and non-rBST treated cows. Personally I drink Soy Milk, but that's for those of you out there worrying about milk with hormones.
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
I agree with Arielrb38.Not everyone can afford to buy everything organic, if so wouldn't you think people would and places like the everyday supermarket would be in danger with its produce.I think overall when on a fixed budget it's good to know which foods are higher up on the list of suggestions to go organic on. If I know lettuce is lower on the ranking of pro organic than maybe I'll buy regular instead and go organic with something else I eat at higher risk with chemicals.Sorry but not everyone has the kind of money to afford Whole Foods for everything. Plus I think a fair amount of things are overrated and overpriced. I know a non Whole Foods health food store, still organic but much better prices.
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
I agree with Arielrb38. Not everyone can afford to buy everything organic, if so wouldn't you think people would and places like the everyday supermarket would be in danger with its produce. I think overall when on a fixed budget it's good to know which foods are higher up on the list of suggestions to go organic on. If I know lettuce is lower on the ranking of pro organic than maybe I'll buy regular instead and go organic with something else I eat at higher risk with chemicals. Sorry but not everyone has the kind of money to afford Whole Foods for everything. Plus I think a fair amount of things are overrated and overpriced. I know a non Whole Foods health food store, still organic but much better prices.
Arielrb38 Arielrb38 8 years
I think that the point Fit is making, and which I appreciated, being on a pretty fixed budget, is that not everyone who wants to buy all organic can afford to do so. As much as I would love to have only organic produce (and living next door to a Whole Foods, it would be easy), my budget weeps the few times I have tried to actually institute that. I have a general rule of trying to buy organic produce, but getting the dried/ canned goods at the general grocery store. I really appreciate this posting.
marygrace marygrace 8 years
oh man! i was at wegmans this weekend and wanted to buy some yams. they only had organic ones out and i was considering going with sweet potatoes instead because they were conventional and cheaper. but the yams looked better so i got them.. glad i did!
livetolove livetolove 8 years
my question is... why wouldn't someone want to buy organic? I mean if someone told me "hey the fruit your about to eat has a bunch of chemicals on... but hey, go ahead an eat it cuz it's cheaper than the organic one" I'd be like, uh no thanks and opt for the more expensive one. It's your health, your body... your life.
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