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.
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- 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.