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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?


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 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

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

corn may not contain much pesticide residue compared to apples, but how can it be on the "buy conventional" list?! thanks to monsanto and genetic modification, the danger of conventional corn lies much deeper than the surface. watch this documentary to learn more, and then make your own list...


03/09/2010 - 7:51pm

I buy organic! I do buy conventional oranges and bananas though...


03/09/2010 - 7:02pm

I will always buy organic meats and dairy. However, I can not always afford to buy all organic fruits and vegetables, so I try to stay away from the items that are known to retain more pesticides.

I am trying to start my own garden to offset the expense and give us more variety, but it is a long process.



03/09/2010 - 5:32pm

I always buy corn and soybean products organic because I'm concerned about avoiding genetically engineered foods as well as pesticides. In the US, any corn or soy that isn't organic or doesn't specifically say that it's GMO-free probably is GMO.


03/09/2010 - 5:29pm

I use the EWG guidelines as well but I also consider the volume and frequency that I use the item. So I buy organic tomatoes, sweet potatoes and watermelon because they are everyday foods for my family. I don't buy organic kale because we don't use it that often.
Hope Damon, RD, CDE


03/09/2010 - 5:10pm

It totally surprises me that tomatoes are on the the conventional list~ I wonder where bananas fit on the list?


03/09/2010 - 4:55pm

I appreciate the article because I love to buy organic but also like to save money where I can. My advice about corn specifically is to stick to organic only because it is so heavily genetically modified.


03/09/2010 - 4:50pm

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