Where you can get great inexpensive organic produce in Los Angeles
to avoid the conventional produce on the "Dirty Dozen" (high pesticide) list produced by the Environmental Working Group
strawberries: Harry's Berries has the best strawberries. I used to grow my own, and this stand comes the closest to home-grown strawberries. Where? Santa Monica Farmer's Mkt (Wed) and Hollywood Farmer's Mkt (Sun). If you show up late, they might have packed up and left because they really sell out. Get there well before 1pm!!
apples: Organic apples are easy to find, but to find a good price? Visit the Larchmont Farmer's Market (Sun) where many vendors will offer $1/pound near closing. At the stores, sometimes the prices are upwards of $2/pound.
grapes (imported): Larchmont Farmer's Market has a stand that is a family farm. Their grapes and other fruits taste different because it is not mass-produced like some of the organic produce you buy at a grocery store. You'll sometimes see the baby hanging out with mom and grandma. They make the best juices, including grape juice and the best pomegranate juice you have never tasted before.
blueberries: I like to have a big stash of frozen wild blueberries that I can have year-round in my freezer. You can get these at the best price at Trader Joe's. A great base of fruit for any smoothie.
bell peppers: Honestly, fresh organic bell peppers are pricey. This is one of the dirty dozen that I just avoid eating often, and I prefer to get the pre-sliced conventional tricolor frozen bag from Trader Joe's. Here's the truth--as much as I try, it is not easy or inexpensive to get organic bell peppers. Anyone have a good suggestion? Send in your tips!
kale: I picked a great giant bunch of kale from Pavilions this week. $1.69 is probably the lowest price at a grocery store! Now, there is the Asian produce stand at Larchmont (Sun) where every bunch of greens is only $1/each. I feel incomplete on the weeks that my schedule doesn't allow me to see my favorite Asian pesticide-free produce stand, but Pavilions on Santa Monica/Robertson surprised me with their good and fresh selection of organic produce.
spinach: You can get bags of organic baby spinach and salad greens at the 99cent stores. Really--same brands that are sold at Gelson's for $3.99.
The rest, I would pick up whereever it is convenient--when you're at the Farmer's Market or in the Organic Aisle of a good grocery store. Have fun shopping for your favorite fruits and veggies!
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