With the trend of rising food costs, you may find yourself questioning whether or not itís worth it to bust your budget replacing all your food items with their organic counterparts. Itís hard not to feel conflicted when you have a limited budget and limited time to shop, but you still want to provide the healthiest food for your family.
We now know that growing organic food is better for the environment. Itís also a great investment in your short-term and long-term health, as organic foods have higher levels of nutrients and fewer toxins than traditionally grown and processed food. Unfortunately, many of us donít have the budget to swap all of our food for organic, so prioritizing is a must. To get the biggest bang for your buck, you should buy organic items that deliver the greatest impact on your diet, and go with less expensive options for the rest of your grocery list. Following this strategy will protect both your health and the state of your wallet.
The FDA and USDA have worked together to create a short list of foods that are commonly eaten and have the highest levels of contamination. Dubbed the ďdirty dozen,Ē these 12 foods are always worth the splurge to buy organically:
Spinach and other dark, leafy greens
These foods all share one thing in common: thin skin that allows the pesticides to leach into the interior. Because the harmful chemicals get into the flesh of the fruit, you canít just wash or peel them away before eating. Produce with a thick rind, like melon, is okay to eat non-organically, so save your money there.
Planning extra room in your budget for organic meat and dairy is also important. Recent research suggests that meat products may contain higher levels of contaminants than any produce. Try eating meat less frequently, and use that extra money to put toward buying organic for the rest of the week.
With the booming interest in eating organic foods, many grocery stores are putting out their own budget-friendly line of antibiotic-, hormone- and pesticide-free foods. Shop around at different stores to see how far you can stretch your budget while still keeping an eye on your health.
Changing your whole lifestyle overnight is stressful and unnecessary. Doing the best you can on each shopping trip and educating your friends and family is enough to make a real impact on the well-being of the planet and your health. Gradually changing the way you think about food, you will make lasting changes in your shopping habits and health.