We’ve all heard about the importance of buying organic foods, but one look at the prices of some organic fruits and vegetables can be enough to send a person running right out of the grocery store! The good news is that not all fruits and vegetables need to be bought organic. When you’re buying groceries on a budget (which most of us are), it’s helpful to know that organic vs. conventional isn’t so black and white. While some conventional items in the produce aisle tend to be higher in pesticides there are some that have little or no pesticide residue.
Every year the Environmental Working Group (EWG) tests the pesticide levels of thousands of samples of fruits and vegetables to see which ones contain the most pesticide and which ones contain the least. Based on these numbers they create an annual Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen list. The fruits and vegetables on the Dirty Dozen are ones that are ranked highest in pesticides, and should be bought organic whenever possible. For the last three years the EWG has expanded the list to include two extra vegetables, now calling it the Dirty Dozen Plus. The Clean Fifteen are fruits and vegetables that tested with little or no pesticides and are safe to buy conventionally. Check it out below!
Another way to save money when buying fruits and vegetables is by shopping for produce that is in season and local. Local fruits and veggies have substantially less travel time and therefore should cost less, especially if you’re buying direct at a farmer’s market. Also, by buying local you know that your food is fresh because it hasn't had to fly over on an airplane or sit on a boat for days before hitting the shelves. Thanks to the EWG we can all make informed decisions when buying our groceries. Raise your hand if you’re happy that you now know you don’t need to spend $5 on an organic avocado. I know I am!