Tuesday, September 25, 2012

An Apple is an Apple: When to buy organic over conventional.

                                                                                         Source: google.com via Karen on Pinterest

You may have heard about this research study  from Stanford University   a few weeks ago that revealed that organic produce is no more nutritious than conventional produce. After all an apple is an apple and an orange is an orange. What this study doesn't reveal is what is really on that apple or what toxins that orange was exposed to on its journey from the orchard onto your plate.

I've been reading The Organic Cook's Bible by Jeff Cox. There is a section in the book that discusses farming without agricultural chemicals. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chemicals that are involved in conventional farming can cause cancer. In fact 60% of all herbicides,90% of all fungicides, & 30 % of all insecticides are carcinogenic!
Organic food is grown without these chemicals, free from genetically modified organisms, hormones, and antibiotics. Check out this list I made of the "Dirty Dozen" the 12 types of produce that have most pesticide residues and also some safer conventional or non-organic options.
picture by Brooklynn
Now I know organic produce can be costly. We don't eat all organic, our budget just can't allow it. Here are some tips on how to eat organic on a budget:

  • Buy in bulk if you can use the food or store it.
  • Clip coupons from the newspaper or online sites.
  • Shop Online. I buy a lot of my organic pantry staples online from Amazon, Vitacost, and drugstore.com.
  • Plan your menus using advertised specials from your grocery.
  • Compare prices between fresh and frozen, dried and canned varieties of organic foods.
  • Shop grocery chains that feature their own organic brand. Like Trader Joe's, Whole Foods has their own 365 Brand, and Publix Green Wise as well.
  • Join an organic food cooperative.Check out Local Harvest for a co-op, CSA delivery, or local buying club to join.
  • Plant a garden and grow your own organic produce, or join a community garden.

I would love to hear your thoughts and tips on eating and buying organic food in the comments below.

Stay strong and carry on!


  1. I am so glad other people are looking critically at this researchers 'claims' about organic food not being better in quality/health benefits. So bogus! I wish I had tips to help with the costs of buying organics but I definitely spend at least 75% of my monthly food budget on organic produce and just sacrifice buying other (usually more processed goods I don't need) to afford them.

  2. Balancing the budget with organic purchases can be tricky.I try to hold out and wait for great sales and I eat what is in season as it is usually cheaper. Thanks for the comment Erica!