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Trying to save money? 15 foods you don’t need to buy organic

By Brierley Wright, M.S., R.D., March 2, 2010 - 10:45am

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Brierley asks: Do you buy organic? What foods do you think it's worth to save on and which do you spend more on for organic?


Organic is not just about pesticides. Organic is about petroleum based and synthetic fertilizers, monocropping, GE foods, you name it. It's *supposed* to be about sustainability - of course nowadays you have factory farmed organics (which are better than nothing, though). Buying organic shouldn't just be about avoiding pesticide residues, although that's part of it! Buying organic should be saying "yes" to the what organic stands for - yes to healthy soils, yes to healthy farms, yes to crop diversity, no to GE foods, etc. If all anyone cares about is pesticide residue when buying organic, perhaps a new moniker is in order. "Pesticide free," or something. Talking only about pesticides reduces "organic" to a one dimension.


03/09/2010 - 8:15pm

I buy organic as often as I can..especially the fruits you have listed..especially those with thinner skins..we eat A LOT of apples and strawberries in my house. You should add blueberries to the organic list.
Also buy organic carrots, celery, broccoli. Don't see organic asparagus a lot. In Whole Foods where they have a lot of organic they seem to only have conventional. Only buy organic chicken and turkey. We don't eat beef.
I think it's important to read all labels. I stay away from high fructose corn syrup. Other items include organic bread, applesauce, tomato sauce and ketchup. I try to keep my family away from any unnecessary chemicals. I have a child with Autism. Ever since she was diagnosed...almost 7 years ago..I have been buying organic.


03/09/2010 - 8:21pm

I was always under the impression that corn (like apples) were high on the list of 'must buy organic.' How do the frozen non-organic corn vs. the fresh non-organic corn differ?


03/09/2010 - 8:32pm

I buy all organic vegetables and fruits..If Its grown in the ground then it is getting nutrients from the soil. There are many ways to fertilize and deter insects without chemicals.
I will save money on foods that are not organic, bread,crackers,cereal etc...avoiding HFCS,hydragenated oils,palm etc....
It is really a label reading adventure when one goes to the store!


03/09/2010 - 10:05pm

I have begun buying organic. I do use the Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen lists to guide my buying. I also grow my own veggies and have some fruit trees. I am also very concerned about GMO products. I do not want any changes made to the food I eat or seeds I plant.


03/09/2010 - 11:21pm

I try to buy all organic produce but if I have to make a decision I would buy the leafy vegetables like the lettuces organic and save by buying those with thick or heavy skins like avocados, bananas, eggplant, watermelon and blueberries. Also vegetables like onions, cabbage and garlic because I don't think too many pesticides are sprayed on these. However I would definitely buy organic tomatoes so I don't agree with all items on your savings list and I would definitely use a fruit and vegetable wash on those that are not organic.


03/10/2010 - 12:32am

One major reason for buying some foods organic is to avoid GMO foods. Pesticides are not the only problem with foods like corn, whether frozen or canned. Are there any frozen corn products on the general market other than organic than can guarantee that the corn in the package is not GM?

Ann Walper


03/10/2010 - 12:34am

I try to buy organic as much as possible, but it does get expensive. I always buy organic non-fat milk, and try to buy organic meats (usually chicken). I'd love to buy grass-fed beef, but it is too much for the pocketbook. Maybe for a special occasion. I have to question, too, whether a food item really is organic or not. I usually have a garden, so I grow most of my own veggies (organic of course) during the growing season (2 here in FLA).


03/10/2010 - 9:35am

Yes, when they are available. I like the list of things you don't need to buy organic because it will not only save money but allows me to spend more on those produce items that really need to be organic.


03/10/2010 - 1:42pm

I try to follow the recommended guidelines for the organic fruits and vegetables that I buy. After my husband was diagnosed with cancer, it's become even more important to me to eat as much organic as possible. We belong to an organic CSA and thoroughly enjoy the freshness and incredible tastes of the veggies. I always buy organic milk, cheese, and meat. Whether it's psychological or not, we can taste a difference in organic fruits, vegetables, meat and milk.


03/10/2010 - 6:28pm

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