Which Produce to Buy Organic

Which Produce to Buy Organic

Adapted from ewg.org

Recently I was doing some research on which produce to buy organic versus that which I might be able to save a little money on and buy conventional.

I know a lot of you would say to buy everything organic, but others of you will be able to relate to my dilemma.  I have a family of six plus a dog, cat and ten chickens.  I can’t always do all my shopping at the local health food store or farmer’s market.  Often I need to shop at Target or a “regular” grocery store.  I also can’t really afford to buy everything organic.  I do grow a lot of our own veggies, but I don’t grow them all.  With four small children, making multiple stops at various stores is often not feasible (or sanity inducing).  So…. that lead me to start researching which I can save on and which I should splurge on.   Read on to learn more about my list of which produce to buy organic.

Which Produce to Buy Organic

My research took me to the Environmental Working Group – http://www.ewg.org/  and their lists of the “ dirty dozen – http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/dirty_dozen_list.php ” and “ clean fifteen – http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/clean_fifteen_list.php .”  These lists were made with regard to pesticide levels on the produce that you end up consuming (i.e. Cantaloupe might have pesticides on the rind, but you don’t eat that.  The fruit inside is relatively safe.).  So, they do not take into account GMOs.  The GMO issue is one that is important to me and one that worries me as a wife and mother.

I do not believe that, on the whole, GMOs are safe in the long-term for humans.  So, when the EWG put sweet corn and papayas in their “clean fifteen” list, I wasn’t buying it (literally!).  Almost all sweet corn and papayas that are conventionally grown are genetically modified.  For that reason, I put them both on my “splurge” side and will be buying organic.  Other than that, I felt pretty comfortable with what the EWG presented and if you  look at both lists, you’ll see they are very similar.

I am going to print out the graphic above and hang it on my fridge so that I can remember which produce to buy organic and which I can save a little on and go with conventional.  I’m sharing it here because I thought you might want to do the same.  I’ve also included some links to books on the topic below:


Splurge vs. Save: Which Organic Produce should YOU be buying!? :: via Five Little Homesteaders

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