Buying organic can be costly. It’s easy for celebrities to endorse eating organic always but ultimately many of us are not in a position that we can afford to. Until organic foods become more mainstream leading to affordability, we must decide where the greatest health benefits are gained by choosing organic. The practice of purchasing natural foods only and ending your consumption of things processed is most important. The more organic you can consume, the better. So where is the best place to spend your organic dollars…
Dairy products and meat are some of the biggest offenders because of the amount of hormones that are used in raising farm animals today. Organic meats and dairy products are the best option, however they are also the most costly compared to their chemically filled counterparts. Some companies, locally our Rutter’s, are now producing dairy products that don’t have the organic tag but are hormone free and are at the same price point as “regular” dairy products. Grocery stores are now carrying their generic brands of meat that are hormone free. I have seen the option in our local Giants and Wegman’s. These are great alternatives to the science-fied meat products we have been buying at almost the same price.
If on a tight grocery budget, and who isn’t anymore, your best bang for your buck is in-season fruits and vegetables. Especially when purchasing them from local farm stands and farmers markets. You can easily get organic options for the same or less than fruits and vegetables bought in stores. When following a “whole” diet, fruits and vegetables are the largest portion of your diet and this is where the dollars should be spent.
The USDA analyzed fruits and vegetables and their pesticide concentration. These were the twelve with the highest levels
- Bell peppers
- Grapes (imported varieties)
My suggestion is, if no where else, this is where you make sure you are buying organic. As things are in season or as you find hot sources for reasonably priced organic meats, produce and dairy products, you can buy more as your budget allows. While you need to make do, stick to the “dirty dozen” list and seeking out hormone free meats and dairy products.