Tuesday, August 26, 2008

What to buy organic

As food prices continue to climb, you may be wondering which organic products are worth splurging on. The Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit association that tracks pesticide residue levels has a list to help you on your next shopping trip.

1. Fruits: Buy organic when buying apples, peaches, nectarines, strawberries, blueberries, imported grapes and other fruits without a peel. Save money, and opt for conventional bananas, oranges, lemon and other fruits with thick peels.

2. Vegetables: Buy organic when you're buying spinach, lettuce and leafy greens, bell peppers, potatoes, and carrots. Buy conventional broccoli, asparagus, frozen corn, sweet peas, avocados, and onions as these tend to have lower levels of pesticide residue.

3. Milk & Dairy: Buy organic milk and other dairy products. Organic milk comes from cows that are given pesticide-free organic feed or graze on pesticide-free land.

4. Meat & Poultry: If you can afford it, splurge on organic meat. Buying organic poultry may not be worth it, because the USDA requires that chickens must have access to the outdoors, but doesn't control how much access is necessary for each bird.

5. Seafood. Never spend extra for organic seafood, as there are no standards for organic seafood.

6. Grains: Save some money by buying conventional grains, breads, pastas, chips and similar products. The real benefits of organic products come from fresh foods, since grains are processed they lose much of their organic value anyway.

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