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Thursday, May 22, 2008

 

organics :: when to buy and when not to

i'm a stay-at-home mom of 2. the husband is a teacher/filmmaker. needless to say, we aren't raking it in. the presents and interesting dilemma for me as it pertains to grocery shopping.

when hubby and i were single and living life in Seattle with 2 decent incomes and no little mouths to feed it was fairly simple to afford organic foods. just about everything we ate was organic, from produce, to juice to butter and snack foods. it's just what we did. and i can remember getting a little thrill out of finding a worm in my lettuce. ain't no pesticides there.

of course it would stand to reason that now eating organically is even more important to me. got two little bodies to feed that are growing fast. i want to fill them up with good stuff. the sad part--it's to freaking expensive for us. so, now we don't buy organic butter or organic snacks. no organic peanut butter in the cabinet. we choose our battles. i buy organic or hormone free meats always. and organic fruits and veggies as much as possible. but it got me thinking--which produce items are really benefiting from the organic status they have achieved. for example, if the pesticides are on the outside--sprayed onto the fruit, then wouldn't that mean that anything with a thick, peelable skin be fine to eat conventional? something like grapes or nectarines we'd want to have organic. can't wash those well, either, because they are too delicate.

so, i did some poking around and found this interesting bit of information on pesticides and produce. it's an easy to read chart found on the foodnews.org website. basically it ranks the produce based on testing for pesticides. the study was done between 2000 and 2005. for more info, check the website, but i am including the list of 43 fruits and vegs ranked by the pesticide load used on them. this resource has helped me think about what to spend my organic dollars on and what not to.

The Full List: 43 Fruits & Veggies

RANK

FRUIT OR VEGGIE

SCORE

1 (worst)

Peaches

100 (highest pesticide load)

2

Apples

96

3

Sweet Bell Peppers

86

4

Celery

85

5

Nectarines

84

6

Strawberries

83

7

Cherries

75

8

Lettuce

69

9

Grapes - Imported

68

10

Pears

65

11

Spinach

60

12

Potatoes

58

13

Carrots

57

14

Green Beans

55

15

Hot Peppers

53

16

Cucumbers

52

17

Raspberries

47

18

Plums

46

19

Oranges

46

20

Grapes-Domestic

46

21

Cauliflower

39

22

Tangerine

38

23

Mushrooms

37

24

Cantaloupe

34

25

Lemon

31

26

Honeydew Melon

31

27

Grapefruit

31

28

Winter Squash

31

29

Tomatoes

30

30

Sweet Potatoes

30

31

Watermelon

25

32

Blueberries

24

33

Papaya

21

34

Eggplant

19

35

Broccoli

18

36

Cabbage

17

37

Bananas

16

38

Kiwi

14

39

Asparagus

11

40

Sweet Peas-Frozen

11

41

Mango

9

42

Pineapples

7

43

Sweet Corn-Frozen

2

44

Avocado

1

45 (best)

Onions

1 (lowest pesticide load)

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3 Comments:

Blogger Misty said...

very interesting. I have a magazine article somewhere (real simple maybe) which had talked about thick peels (Orange, lemon, banana, etc) to be find non-organic. There were a few other interestingly helpful things too... So this was interesting!

May 22, 2008 at 2:08 PM  
Blogger Tiffany said...

We're in the same boat. When I was pregnant with Aiden we both worked...so we ate a lot more organic, and all good meats and dairy products. Now we hardly eat anything organic since I stay home and we bought a house. I do buy hormone free milk, but it isn't organic. I HATE that it's so much more expensive.....I always feel guilty because I can't afford organic foods. But then I have to remind myself that at least we CAN afford lots of great things to eat. We aren't starving...so I try to be thankful for that. We're doing a lot better than many other families.

May 22, 2008 at 8:49 PM  
Anonymous beth - total mom haircut said...

I've been using a lit like this for a while too. We just can't afford to do it all. This one includes more on it than mine though, so thanks for putting it up.

June 1, 2008 at 10:08 PM  

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