If you’re anything like me (note: frugal, money-aware, budget-friendly = all very nice words to describe a poor college student), then you probably realized early on how expensive organic produce is compared to commercially farmed produce. Now everyone is well aware of the horrors of pesticides and GMOs, but when it comes down to buying a pound of strawberries for $4.99 or $2.50 - you can bet my cash strapped booty is reaching for the cheapest ones! This isn’t something I like or am proud of, but it’s economics baby. We’re in a recession!
So I decided to do a little research and find out what produce is most highly recommended to be bought organic. After perusing through dozens of sites, I found I was consistently referred back to the Environmental Work Group. The EWG is a leader in the health world, often testing products and produce as well as common chemicals to determine their affects (both negative or otherwise) on our lives.
The Dirty Dozen. According to the EWG, these are the 12 most pesticide-ridden fruits and vegetables and the ones you should buy organic most often. The list, from worst to best?
7. Sweet Bell Peppers
9. Kale/Collard Greens
The statistics they provided were more than slightly shocking. For example, out of all the apples tested, 95.1% were positive for harmful pesticides. That may not have surprised me much - if they hadn’t been washed before testing. However, the EWG tested their produce the way people would eat them and that means washed first. It made me think back to all the times I was too lazy to wash off an apple before devouring it or too eager to wash my cherries before popping a few into my mouth. Eww.
The EWG also says you can reduce the amount of pesticides you consume yearly by 4/5 if you just stick to eating these 12 fruits and vegetables organic. That’s insane! A few other produce items that I found repeatedly through my internet searching to be consistently dirty: red raspberries, lettuce, green beans and cantaloupe.
Don’t think you can remember these items off hand? Never fear! The EWG offers a print-out of this list as well as an iPhone App! Pretty cool, right? I mean, I thought so but I’m kinda nerdy.
Now that I know when to splurge and when to save, I feel a lot better about my purchasing power. I can still support organic producers while keeping myself out of the poor house! Cause dude - I’m way too pretty for the poor house.
Enjoy the rest of your Saturday babes! I’m off for a run and a movie with the boy. A little Hot Tub Time Machine is in order. Has anyone seen that yet? I heard it was funny, but to be honest the trailers looked a little weak. Don’t tell my boyfriend I said that though, it would break his little heart.