Is Buying Organic Produce Worth the Extra Cost?


With the media constantly sending us mixed messages and the economy forcing us to be more mindful about our spending, why bother with organic produce? It appears to look just like the cheaper variety and tends to spoil quicker. So why go that route?
Organic: any food that is produced without the use of conventional methods like chemical fertilizers or pesticides. 
Some studies suggest that organic foods offer more nutrients than traditional foods. However, these findings are not conclusive. It is clear that exposure to pesticides can be toxic. The National Institutes of Health [NIH] sponsored three studies on children born to mothers who have been subjected to various pesticides. The results of these studies found that these children are more susceptible to setbacks in their cognitive development, reasoning ability, and memory. Although, even nonorganic foods stay within the government safety guidelines for pesticides.

At the end of the day, it's best to err on the side of caution. The way to go about doing this is to recognize which fruits and vegetables are the "dirtiest" and which are the "cleanest". The non-profit Environmental Working Group [EWG] found the following foods to have the greatest amount of pesticides:


  • Peaches
  • Apples
  • Sweet bell peppers
  • Celery
  • Nectarines
  • Strawberries
  • Cherries
  • Pears
  • Imported grapes
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Potatoes
If you decide to go organic, these are the fruits and vegetables that should be first in line. If going organic isn't a possibility it doesn't mean that these foods should be avoided. Instead, purchase domestically grown grapes, use a vegetable brush when washing potatoes, and take the time to wash your fruits and veggies thoroughly.

Foods that have the least amount of pesticides:
  • Papaya
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Bananas
  • Kiwi
  • Frozen sweet peas
  • Asparagus
  • Mango
  • Pineapples
  • Frozen sweet corn
  • Avocado
  • Onions (contain NO pesticides)

Whether or not you choose to buy organic produce, you're still better off buying it EVEN if it isn't organic. The pros of eating nonorganic fruits and vegetables outweigh the cons. Just make sure to take the time to wash them well.

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