How Do I Eat Green?
When to Choose Organic
While some foods, such as packaged organic tomatoes and refrigerated soy milk, cost only a little more than their conventionally grown counterparts (14 percent and 21 percent, respectively), the price of other organic items, such as eggs and packaged fresh spinach, can be almost triple. "Future price changes depend on supply and demand, though prices for organic products are likely to decline as more appear in the market," says Carolyn Dimitri, PhD, of the Economic Research Service at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
If you're concerned about toxic pesticides and fertilizers, one way to manage the expense is to limit your organic purchases to fruits and vegetables that have the highest chemical load when conventionally grown. The dirty dozen, so called by the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit organization (starting with the worst): peaches, apples, bell peppers, celery, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, lettuce, imported grapes, pears, spinach, and potatoes.
It also helps to use a little common sense, says Susan Moores, RD, a nutrition consultant in St. Paul, Minnesota. Buy organic versions of foods whose skins are highly nutritious, and that you're likely to eat. The same goes for fruits whose outer layer you don't tend to remove, like plums, and leafy greens such as spinach and kale that have a large surface area that could be exposed to synthetic pesticide sprays. Conversely, the thicker the peel or rind, as on a watermelon, the safer you probably are going conventional.
What do you think of this story? Leave a Comment.