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Getting the most bang for your organic buck

by Robin

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The recession has most of us tethered to a tight food budget. We’re eating out a lot less, and we’re more careful about what we spend at the grocery store. For those of us that want to eat organic food, but find that it’s too expensive for our shrinking grocery budget, do we have to give up organics completely?

Image: Bruce TutenNo. One of the top reasons that people choose organic food is to reduce their exposure to harmful chemical and pesticide residues that are part of many conventionally grown foods. Wouldn’t it be great if you knew which fruits and vegetables contained the most harmful residues? Then, you could chose to spend the extra money for them in their organic form and buy those fruits and vegetables with less harmful amounts of residues in their conventional form.

Fortunately, The Environmental Working Group has done the legwork on this one. They’ve created a list of common fruits and vegetables and listed them according to their residue load. The twelve foods with the most harmful residue have become known as “The Dirty Dozen.” The fifteen foods with the least have been dubbed “The Clean Fifteen.”

Using this list, which has recently been revised for 2010, shoppers can make more informed choices. They can chose to spend a little extra money for The Dirty Dozen in organic form. If there isn’t any extra money, they can forgo buying those twelve foods and eat the fifteen cleanest foods.

Here’s the new Dirty Dozen list for 2010.

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

And here’s the Clean Fifteen.

1. Onions
2. Avocado
3. Sweet Corn (frozen)
4. Pineapples
5. Mango
6. Sweet Peas (frozen)
7. Asparagus
8. Kiwi
9. Cabbage
10. Eggplant
11. Cantaloupe (domestic)
12. Watermelon
13. Grapefruit
14. Sweet Potatoes
15. Honeydew

For the full list, visit Foodnews.org. Go forth and shop wisely.

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