It is common knowledge that organic produce is more expensive than your conventionally grown (read; chemically assisted) fruits and veggies. And, while it is not surprising that the extra time and care increases the cost to the consumer, that doesn’t exactly help when you are on a tight budget!
I recently wrote a blog post with tips about how to make the transition to organic living while budgeting and one of the guidelines was to ‘know your enemy’. You see all organic produce was not created the same after all.
If you choose carefully you can really get the most organic bang for your hard-earned buck! The Dirty Dozen and the Clean Fifteen are lists that show which fruit and veg have the most chemical residues on them while also taking into account whether it is likely you will consumer these nasty remains (i.e. will it be thrown away with the peel). Use these lists!
Over 90% of ingestion of pesticides in foods can be eliminated by avoiding the most contaminated foods.
– Data collected by the Environmental Working Group from 43,000 tests on pesticides in conventional produce
The Dirty Dozen
- Apples – An apple a day may not keep the doctor away after all! In Australia apples are sprayed repeatedly over their growing cycle with pesticides, fungicides and herbicides not forgetting the petro-chemical fertilisers they were grown in. Washing and peeling will not remove all these residues, so it really is a must on your organic grocery list.
- Strawberries – Strawberries are notorious for fungicides and pesticides. Interestingly, frozen strawberries are a better option!
- Peaches – There is less residue in canned peaches
The Clean Fifteen
- Sweet Corn
- Sweet peas
- Mango (Yay!!!)
- Sweet Potatoes
Blonde Olive’s rules of thumb if you forget the list…
- Leafy Vegetables are often covered in pesticides (snails like to nom the leafy!)
- Items with a hard or thick skin or peel are generally safe
- Berries and stone fruit seem to hold a lot of residual pesticide and fungicide
- Citruses are often okay
Of course, if you can afford to go all or mostly organic that is definitely the best option for your health and the planets… but sometimes that is just not a viable option. This is a great introduction for someone just wanting to look into organic living or if you are just trying to wangle your funds while being healthy and sustainable.