Tuesday, July 7, 2009

How to prioritize when to buy Organic

While fresh seasonal wild/organic fruits and veggies are the best option, it's not always the realistic option. Whether you're prioritizing due to time or budget, here are some quick strategies to help optimize your health more easily. It needs to be easy enough so that you'll actually implement your healthier choices into your day-to-day lifestyle.

1) The freezer section has great options like Wild Boreal Blueberries, Organic Strawberries, Green Beans. And for some fruits and veggies, you don't need to prioritize them to be organic or wild. Having a stock of fruits and veggies on hand in your freezer increases your chance of more servings. And often, the frozen versions are great quality and a very positive option when you just haven't gotten to your grocery shopping!

2) If you went to the Farmer's Market and got overzealous and can't finish up your portions before it goes bad, package your fruits and veggies while they are still good and put them in the freezer for a different day! You might put the fruit in a smoothie, or the veggies in an egg scramble or mixed veggie sautee, and you will save yourself from wasting your Farmer's Market finds.

3) Prioritize buying organic for the "Dirty Dozen" list and go ahead and buy the conventional varieties from the "Least Contaminated" list.

This list below is known as the "Dirty Dozen" that you should avoid buying conventional and prioritize to buy Organic. According to the Environmental Working Group, common growing practices make these crops the most likely to contain pesticide residues:
Bell Peppers
Imported Grapes

If organic produce is cutting into your overall budget, it's okay to prioritize a bit and use non-organic varieties of the fruits and vegetables listed below, which tend to contain the least amount of pesticides. You should still make it a habit to wash them thoroughly before eating or cooking to remove dirt and bacteria. According to the Environmental Working Group, these are the least contaminated fruits and vegetables.
Corn (sweet, frozen)
Peas (sweet, frozen)

photo credit: Omer Kamran

1 comment:

LA Teen Therapist said...

Learning about pesticides and the value of organic food is something that parents can easily teach through taking a teen to the farmer's market. With the ever present temptation of fast food, processed snacks and soft drinks, teens are at risk for establishing bad habits that can affect their moods and ability to focus in school. Summer is a good time for them to learn about the joy of fresh peaches, nectarines and berries, along with nuts and organic breads and cheeses as an alternative to less nutritious choices. www.LosAngelesTeenTherapist.com