When to buy organic

How to Decide When to Buy Organic Produce

Do you see the difference between these two strawberry offers at a grocery store in Colorado? If you said one is organic, then you would be spot on!

For years I have indulged in this delectable berry and so it has become a permanent part of what I associate with summer. In fact, I have my very own strawberry patch at home in Utah that I often feed on for breakfast, either straight off the plant or in the form of natural strawberry jam.

However, the day of this photo found me in Colorado. It was early spring, the sun was shining, and I had a hankering for strawberries. Now, I hate to buy fruit and veg from the grocery story when I have them in my garden, especially when organic produce usually costs more. If you are like me, you live on a budget. Many people struggle with the choice of price-over-quality or quality-over-price (by quality I mean organic). In this case, I got the best of both. Score!

Price-Over-Quality or Quality-Over-Price

But, if the price would not be the same, how do I choose when to buy organic? Would it be quality or price? Well, that depends. For strawberries, I would choose organic. In the US, strawberries grown by conventional means are loaded with pesticides. Growers even use poisonous gases (banned by the Geneva Conventions, by the way) to kill insects and weeds before planting the fields. The residue of these chemicals remain even after several washings. This is not only true for strawberries, but include several fruits and veg. Apples, are among the worst when it comes to pesticide levels, followed by produce such as peaches, nectarines, grapes, spinach, cherries, tomatoes, and bell peppers. And it often doesn’t help to peel them as many chemicals soak through the vulnerable skin. Strawberries are definitely be on my “A” list for buying organic. On the other hand, there are produce that are not as bad and can go on my “B” list or even no-list. These include avocado, sweet corn, cabbage, and pineapple. Check out the Environmental Working Group’s list of “Dirty 12” and “Clean 15” produce for tips.

when buy organic dirty 12 clean 15

Where to buy organic

Try your best to buy the worst of chemical laden fruits and veg, organic. And by all means shop around. Farmer’s markets are often great places for local, organic fare. There are also grocers that specialize in healthy alternatives that have great offers from time to time. I have found great organic frozen produce at Costco. And don’t forget your local grocery store, like where these strawberries came from. Of course, you can always try and grow some of your own favorites. I can vouch for the strawberries!

Photo credit – “Dirty 12 Clean 15” ewg.org

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