Going Organic on a Family Budget Which foods should we consider buying organic?

This past year I have spent a large amount of time researching nutrition and food.

Although it doesn‰Ûªt make me an expert by any means, it has helped broaden my knowledge base for the family and myself.

When I talk to my extended family and friends common phrases surface like ‰ÛÏits so expensive‰Û and ‰ÛÏdoes it really matter?‰Û

When making the initial transition to organic foods it generally does cost more, but we have found the long-term benefits help out-weigh the short-term costs.

You really have two choices: one, throw out everything you currently have which usually doesn't quite jive; or two, phase in the organic foods as you run out.

Lately, it seems that even the bigger grocery chains have come on board and offer their store brand in organic. Often these items are generally good values and convenient. My favorite grocery store is ‰ÛÏWhole Foods Market‰Û, there is just a feeling that happens after walking through their doors. Maybe, because it feels friendlier or just doesn‰Ûªt seem as commercialized. Whole Foods carries their store brand called ‰ÛÏ365‰Û some products are organic other items are not organic.

I have found this nifty wallet sized shopping list available by the Environmental Working Group.

You can cut it out and keep it in your wallet. To get the wallet size shopper's guide vist www.foodnews.org

It lists the top twelve fruits and vegetables to buy organic and calls these the Dirty Dozen.

1. Peach, 2. Apple, 3. Bell Pepper, 4. Celery, 5. Nectarine, 6. Strawberries, 7. Cherries,

8. Kale, 9. Lettuce, 10. Grapes, (imported) 11. Carrot, 12. Pear.

On, this wallet sized list you will also find the top 15 cleanest fruits and vegetables, which they refer to as the lowest in Pesticides. The following is the list of the cleanest:

1. Onion, 2. Avocado, 3. Sweet Corn, 4. Pineapple, 5. Mango, 6. Asparagus, 7. Sweet Peas, 8. Kiwi,

9. Cabbage, 10. Eggplant, 11. Papaya, 12. Watermelon, 13. Broccoli, 14. Tomato, 15. Sweet Potato.

Just remember that although these fruits and vegetables normally contain lower concentrations of pesticides, it is important to wash all your fruits and vegetables thoroughly before eating.

I have to admit… it's easy to become fanatical about this whole organic thing. We feel better since changing our food choices and you also may find similar results.

If you are interested in learning more about the food industry, I recommend the Food Inc. DVD featured in the righthand column.

We have shared the movie with family members and friends. As quoted by the Washington Post, “Everyone Should See Food, Inc.”

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