Organic growing is designed to encourage soil and water conservation while reducing pollution and the use of pesticides. In the US, consumers can choose 100% organic food, meaning that the product must be completely organic. Look for the “100% organic” seal. Alternatively, packages marked organic without the 100% organic seal means that the product must be at least 95% organic.
Buying organic is a great choice when it comes to healthier options but it can also break the budget. There are also times when, depending on the season, buying organic may not be a feasible option. Edible Philly, a local magazine, just released the 2014 “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean Fifteen,” a great guide to help consumers differentiate between which foods are best to buy organic and on which you can save money.
Dirty Dozen: Apples, celery, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, grapes, nectarines, peaches, potatoes, snap peas, spinach, strawberries, and sweet peppers are best to buy organic. When grown conventionally, these produce items tend to have high concentrations of pesticides. Best to buy organic!
Clean Fifteen: Asparagus, avocados, cabbage, cantaloupe, cauliflower, eggplant, grapefruit, kiwi, mangoes, onions, papayas, pineapples, sweet corn, sweet peas, and sweet potatoes tend to be easier to grow so there is less need for protective pesticides and insecticides. These produce items can be purchased as conventionally grown.
Organic foods are the new wave of healthy eating. While the organic seal is great to ensure freshness and pesticide-free eating, remember that shopping locally is also a great idea. By shopping locally, the consumer has the opportunity to get to know their farmer’s crops, growing habits, and chemical use. Keep in mind that just because a local farmer is not certified organic, that doesn’t mean that they don’t grow organic!
Excerpt from: edible Philly