Everyone knows vegetables and fruits are good for you and we need plenty of them to balance out our diet, but do you spend the extra money to buy organic? What’s the real difference between organic and not? How do we know which produce to buy organic?
There are a lot of hoops food companies and farmers have to jump through to be certified organic but to put it very simply, organic foods have fewer pesticides and more nutrients. Most people know less pesticides are used on organic produce but how do they have more nutrients? Alyson Mitchell, Ph.D., an associate professor of food science and technology at the University of California, Davis, explains it well: “With organic methods, the nitrogen present in composted soil is released slowly and therefore plants grow at a normal rate, with their nutrients in balance. Vegetables fertilized with conventional fertilizers grow very rapidly and allocate less energy to develop nutrients.” That makes sense!
Now, which organic vs. non-organic foods should we be spending the extra money on? Budget conscious buyers can save their wallets by prioritizing which organic foods to purchase based on the amount of pesticides they’re likely to contain.
Here are some safe foods you can skip the organic price tag on and buy conventional:
Due to either the thick skin, outer layers or natural resilience to bugs, the above items are less likely to have pesticide contamination.
Here are a few of the foods you do want to make sure you are buying organic:
Kale/Collard Greens Spinach
These foods are more prone to bug invasion which makes them more prone to pesticide contamination. They are also foods we generally eat the peel, grow close to the ground and overall are a little more delicate in nature.
In general, getting in plenty of vegetables and fruits is ideal but now you know some options you can save a little money on and ones you might need to spend a little extra on!