How healthy is the produce we eat? Spinach is rich in antioxidants, vitamin A and iron, which is great for the body, but what about the effects of the pesticides that remain on the spinach after washing? Organic foods are fruits and vegetables that are grown without chemical fertilizers or pesticides and animals raised without antibiotics or growth hormones. Buying organic foods can cost 50 to 100 percent more. So, how do you know if buying organic is worth it?
Really, the question is not if, but when is it worth it. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has found that even after you wash certain fruits and vegetables they still contain much higher levels of pesticide residue than organic. Produce that is best organic include:
Fruits that you eat whole or are unlikely to peel, such as berries, grapes, cherries, apples, bell peppers, pears, peaches and nectarines.
Leafy greens like spinach, lettuce and kale that are conventionally grown with chemicals.
Less need to buy organic are:
Produce with outer leaves or layers that can be peeled off before eating such as bananas, onions, avocados, mangos, kiwi, papaya and pineapple.
Fruits and vegetables that don’t retain pesticide residue are asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, sweet corn, and sweet peas.
The benefits outweigh the costs when it comes to buying organic. There are ways to spend less on organic foods. Buy local. Many organic vendors at local farmers markets don’t charge a premium for their organic produce. So enjoy organic healthy foods when it’s worth it.