I always try to buy locally grown, in-season organic food. Organically grown food is much better tasting and so much better for us. If you buy it at the Farmer’s Market, you are also supporting local farmers instead of the giant corporate agri-businesses that supply the chain grocery stores with their tasteless, plastic produce.
It’s always better to know your food source and support local food. But it can be expensive and sometimes time dictates a run to the dreaded Harris-Teeter. Then you have to make choices- do I buy conventional or organic? Conventional is so much cheaper, is it really important to buy the organic version of this food? What to do? How do I find balance in my food choices and budget?
If you can’t buy all local, in season, organically grown food, here is some great information from EWG, The Environmental Working Group, to help you make your choices. Keep it on your iPhone or Droid next time you go food shopping:
Eat your fruits and vegetables! The health benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables outweigh the risks of pesticide exposure. Use EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides to reduce your exposures as much as possible, but eating conventionally-grown produce is far better than not eating fruits and vegetables at all. The Shopper’s Guide to Pesticide in Produce will help you determine which fruits and vegetables have the most pesticide residues and are the most important to buy organic. You can lower your pesticide intake substantially by avoiding the 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables and eating the least contaminated produce.
Commodity crop corn used for animal feed and biofuels is almost all produced with genetically modified (GMO) seeds, as is some sweet corn sold for human consumption. Since GMO sweet corn is not labeled as such in US stores, EWG advises those who have concerns about GMOs to buy organic sweet corn.
EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce
Dirty Dozen: Buy these Organically Grown:
- Nectarines – imported
- Grapes – imported
- Sweet bell peppers
- Blueberries– domestic
- Kale/collard greens
Clean 15– Lowest in Pesticide Contamination:
- Sweet Corn
- Sweet peas
- Sweet potatoes