Organic…is it worth the extra cost?

By Lauren Edwards • Published: September 18th, 2008
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

With all the buzz about organic foods, it would seem that everyone would choose to eat this way.

Nobody can argue that avoiding the chemicals used to grow produce is clearly healthier than ingesting them, right?

True, but organic often equals expensive. And with gas prices on the rise, many of us have a hard time stomaching the extra cost of buying organic.

So… are organic foods worth the bigger price tag? According to the Environmental Working Group, Emory University’s School of Public Health and the United Fresh Produce Association, there are some fruits and veggies that are… and some that are O-K to spend less on.

When it comes to buying fresh produce, apples, cherries, nectarines, peaches, pears and strawberries are worth the extra expense. Apples, for example, have some of the highest pesticide levels because chemicals tend to pool on their tops and bottoms, and are absorbed through their stems and cores.

On the flip side, avocados, bananas, kiwis, mangos, pineapples and grapes are safer. Bananas, for instance, are much safer because they grow high off the ground and have a tough skin. And when it comes to grapes, you are pretty safe as long as you stick with those grown domestically.

As for veggies, spend the extra money on organic sweet bell peppers, celery, lettuce, spinach and potatoes, but save some cash on peas and broccoli.

And no matter what you buy, make sure to wash it well before eating. It’s certainly worth the effort!