Buying Organic Is Expensive; Is It Worth the Hype for Your Health?

Mechele R. Dillard's picture

We all wonder if purchasing organic is worth the hype; here are some top choices if you want to give organic a try and still spend wisely.

When you go to the grocery store these days, organic is everywhere. But, what does that mean? And, is it worth the extra cash you are going to have to shell out, or is it just another marketing tool to pressure you into a purchase? After all, organic items can typically cost anywhere from 50 to 100 percent more than non-organic.

Most of us cannot afford to go full-out organic, especially in the days of $4-per-gallon gas! But, many experts agree that there are some items that are more susceptible to pesticides, hormones, or have other factors that make them good choices if you do want to bring organic foods to your table. Here are a few:

  • Peaches: WebMD suggests that some fruits, like peaches, are more susceptible to pesticides than others. The thin, fuzzy skin of the peach makes it a good candidate for clinging residue, and a good choice for an organic-minded shopper.
  • Apples: Organic apples are a great choice, according to Think about it: Most of us are going to give our apples a quick splash under the tap and start munching, no peeling involved. So, it is a good choice if you would like to give organic a try.
  • Kale: Everybody is kale-crazy these days, making it part of their salads, suppers, even making “chips” out of it (which, by the way, I’ve attempted, and find the idea that they are anything near a chip ridiculous—kind of like the idea that spaghetti squash makes a great substitute for actual pasta). Dr. Andrew Weil confirms that kale is a good choice for going organic.
  • Celery: Going organic is kind of simple when you think about it: If it is something hard to wash and something you are going to crunch into with its skin on, it is probably a good organic choice. Celery falls into that good-choice group, according to Eating Well online.
  • Sweet Bell Peppers: Who peels a bell pepper? Not me. If you want a good organic choice, this is going to be near the top of your list, according to the “dirty dozen,” identified each year by the Environmental Working Group. In fact, in the 2012 listing, the EWG listed 45 potential items that they considered good organic options. The Top 12 or, as it has become known, the “dirty dozen,” are as follows:
  1. Apples
  2. Celery
  3. Sweet Bell Peppers
  4. Peaches
  5. Strawberries
  6. Imported Nectarines
  7. Grapes
  8. Spinach
  9. Lettuce
  10. Cucumbers
  11. Domestic Blueberries
  12. Potatoes

Of course, whether you buy organic or not, always wash your fruits and veggies well before eating.

For the full list of 45 from the Environmental Working Group, visit their website.

Huliq Reader Question: Do you buy organic? Why and what? Let us know in the comment section below.

Image: Wikimedia Commons

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