We are a bunch of frugal people. Some of us are frugal because we choose to be and some are frugal because we HAVE to be. So, when considering matters of health, I am often asked, “Should I eat organic produce?”
I sense the fear. I can almost read the amount of a person’s grocery budget in their eyes as this question spills from their lips. Then comes the painful, “It’s hard enough making ends meet and NOW you are telling me that my food is not safe to eat?”
Don’t panic. Let’s be educated. Let’s think strategically.
Know the greatest offenders
The worst offenders for pesticide residue, also know as the “Dirty Dozen,” are:
- Sweet bell peppers
- Nectarines – imported
- Blueberries – domestic
For whatever reason, these are the items that farmers coat with pesticides… heavily. If at all possible, these are the items in the produce section that you should avoid and buy organic.
Since your grocery budget can sometimes restrict how much you can invest in organic fruits and vegetables, pick the item/s your family eats most frequently and purchase organic selections for those items. For everything else, use a frugal washing method to thoroughly cleanse your produce.
When you wash these items, pay special attention to where the fruit meets the tree or where the vegetable roots at the ground since the pesticides can pool in these areas.
Remember the cleaner options
Is there anything in the produce section that is clean enough to eat without fear? The safest produce to eat includes:
- Sweet peas – frozen
- Sweet Corn
With the produce on the “safe” list, you can skip the organic items and feel relatively sure your choices are not going to cause significant damage to your health.