Organic Grocery Shopping 101

by Tatiana Orr

The transition into eating all organic is not something you have to do at once, it can be a gradual change. Whether you’re balling on a budget or simply not sure what to buy, there are a few tips that might make your grocery shopping easier when choosing organic products. The basics are to read ingredient labels, buy in-season produce, buy store brand organic, or opt for frozen or processed organic foods. If you want to dig a little deeper you can focus on the foods that are considered a priority. These are foods that are typically exposed to more chemicals or may be made from genetically modified organisms. 

Generally, any meat, poultry, eggs, or dairy should be bought organic and free range so that it is free of growth hormones. When it comes to produce there are some you can get away with buying conventional instead. Approximately 70% of the produce sold in America contains harmful chemical residue. Almost every year, the Environmental Working Group publishes a guide of produce that is tested for pesticides and chemicals. They call the produce with the most contamination the dirty dozen and the ones with the least the clean fifteen. If you want to know which fruits and vegetables to focus on buying organically you can reference the following list:

Clean Fifteen 

  1. Avocados
  2. Sweet Corn
  3. Pineapple
  4. Onions
  5. Papaya
  6. Sweet Peas
  7. Eggplants
  8. Asparagus
  9. Cauliflower
  10. Cantaloupes
  11. Broccoli
  12. Mushrooms
  13. Cabbage
  14. Honeydew Melon
  15. Kiwi

Dirty Dozen

  1. Strawberries
  2. Spinach
  3. Kale
  4. Nectarines
  5. Apples
  6. Grapes
  7. Peaches
  8. Cherries
  9. Pears
  10. Tomatoes
  11. Celery
  12. Potatoes

Organic food is more expensive to produce, which is one of the reasons it tends to be a little more expensive. Don’t let price points drive you away instead just pick and choose what would be worth spending a little extra on. Your health is an investment worth making, so don’t compromise it by eating poorly. 

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