5 Produce Items That You Really Should Buy Organic

Just over a year ago, I changed my grocery shopping habits. Instead of looking for the best deals, I began looking for the best options for my health. I was already buying quite a few organic packaged products, but not as much organic produce. Now, I buy fewer packaged products overall and 100 percent organic produce whenever possible. Why? After taking a few food and environmental politics classes, I was enlightened about how unfortunately detrimental to one’s health pesticides truly can be.

I know you must be wondering how astronomically expensive that must be, especially since I’m a vegan. However, it is definitely doable. When I first started embracing a completely organic lifestyle, I was a “starving” college student who was making minimum wage (you know—the least amount of money that’s legally possible). It is true that, more often than not, organic produce is going to cost you more than conventional produce will (ugh, darn food injustices). So, is there a bright side? Yes, spending a little extra on your produce now just might save you some medical bills later on. When high organic produce prices get you down, just remember—quality over quantity, right? Also, if you keep your eyes peeled, cheap organic produce is out there. If you really cannot afford to muster up much more money for produce, I do have a list of five produce items that are absolutely imperative to buy organic. In the long run, your body will thank you with longevity.

  1. Apples: An apple a day keeps the doctor away? Wrong. An organic apple a day just might keep the doctor away. Non-organic apples are notorious for carrying high percentages of pesky pesticides. With that being said, try to make sure that your kids’ lunchboxes are packed with organic apple products (juices, sauces, etc.), too.
  2. Berries: Basically any fruit that ends in “berry” should be bought organic. When you buy conventionally grown berries, they’re most likely going to be contaminated by pesticides. Buy organic berries; they even tend to contain higher levels of nutrients and antioxidants. Win-win.
  3. Leafy Greens: Start making your salads with organic spinach and kale. Leafy greens are often laden with extremely toxic chemicals, but simply going organic greatly minimizes your exposure to such toxicities. Plus, loose lettuces are usually a bargain buy; go ahead and skip the pre-packaged stuff.
  4. Peppers: Peppers, especially bell peppers, usually have an astonishing amount of different kinds of pesticides on them. Looks like those stuffed peppers are full of much more than what meets the eye. Scary. I’ve recently come to love roasted red peppers, and have happily come to find that buying them organic doesn’t cost too much more than conventional.
  5. Stone Fruits: Let’s just say that juicy peach or plum you’re about to take a big bite out of weighs half of a pound. Compared with other produce, a lot of that weight actually comes from pesticides. Lost your appetite? Yeah, me too. Also, every conventional stone fruit you buy is essentially guaranteed to have residual pesticides on it. Good thing you can at least try to escape the pesticides with organics. Something is telling me that it’d be safe to say (or even bet) that your next peach pie is going to be organic.