If I was able, I’d buy all of my food organic. Unfortunately, my store doesn’t carry everything I want to buy in an organic option. ¬†Even if they did, my grocery budget isn’t large enough for me to be able to buy everything organic. So, what foods should you buy organic? Which are the most important?

What Foods Should You Buy Organic

Traditional foods are often sprayed with pesticides or other chemicals and these are things that I would rather not eat or serve to my family. Some vegetables and fruits are more susceptible to these chemicals than others. Sometimes, if the vegetable or fruit has a very thick skin, little of the chemical may actually make it to the portion that we eat. Others, are very susceptible to chemicals which means that we end up eating more chemicals. It’s important to know which is which.

Buy Organic:

  • Apples – If you buy only one organic fruit, buy organic apples. Last year, a report showed that over 80% of traditionally grown apples were contaminated with a chemical called diphenylamine (DPA).
  • Leafy Greens – If you eat lettuce, spinach, kale and collard greens, you’ll want to purchase these organic. They are regularly found to be contaminated with insecticides that can cause central nervous system problems.
  • Other foods to always buy organic include celery, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, grapes, nectarines, peaches, potatoes, snap peas, strawberries and peppers.

Pass on Organic:

  • Avocados – Traditional avocados are fine. Only 1% of avocados tested showed any traces of pesticides.
  • Pineapples – Of pineapples tested, 89% of them tested with zero pesticide residue.
  • Foods you can buy traditionally grown if you need to include asparagus, cabbage, cantaloupe, cauliflower, eggplant, grapefruit, kiwi, mangoes, onions, papayas, sweet corn, sweet peas and sweet potatoes.

While organic food can be expensive, I do occasionally find sales on them at my local grocery store. This is especially true when I am purchasing fresh produce in season. Another great way to save on organic produce expenses is to purchase it at your local farmer’s market. We have several local farmers who grow organically and while produce does cost more than traditionally grow produce at the farmer’s market, it’s cheaper than purchasing the same produce at the grocery store. You can try to stop by at the end of the day and look for marked down fruits or vegetables that the farmer doesn’t want to take back home.

Of course, often the most cost effective way to get organic fruits and vegetables is to grow them yourself. We have several small gardens on our property where we grow fruits, vegetables and herbs. Just be certain to start with organic soil and not to add any chemicals.

What foods do you buy organic?