Buying organic food – or as your grandparents called it, food – has been one of the latest food trends. The good news: there are no signs this trend is slowing down. There are big sections at Whole Foods that feature organic produce, and many restaurants are proud to serve organic and farm-to-table dinners.

Many people have been asking me why organic produce is important. What's all the hype? In this blog, I will address the key reasons why organic food is better than conventional.

Top Three Reasons Organic Food is Better

1. Staying away from chemicals. Conventionally-grown produce can be laced with pesticides inside as well as on top of the skin of the fruit or vegetable. Many approved pesticides are meant to kill bugs, which are living organisms. In turn they have been shown to also affect human cells and contribute to cancer and other diseases.

2. Keeping water quality high. When farmers use pesticides, those chemicals seep into ground and leak into springs, polluting our water supply.

3. Getting better flavor. Simply put - organic produce can taste better. This is your body, so why not nourish it with the best tasting foods?

Three Tips for Saving Money on Organic Food

We know that organic can be more expensive than conventional products, so here are some tips and tricks to help you save money on organic produce.

1. Buy in bulk when possible. Even Costco has a great selection of organic products. I love their frozen broccoli, fresh carrots and quinoa/brown rice pouches. And if you throw them together and sauté, you have a great easy dinner!

2. Buy in season and shop local. You will most likely get the best prices on produce when it's in season, so stock up! I like to get fresh organic mangoes, that I can chop up and freeze for later.

3. Buy frozen. One of my favorite things to add to a green smoothie is frozen strawberries. They are less expensive than fresh ones and they also eliminate the need to add ice to the drink.

That said, some foods have very little pesticides on them even when conventionally farmed. If you're looking to save money, here is a quick reference guide to print out and keep with you when you go shopping.

 

12 Most Contaminated (I only buy these organic or avoid them)

  • Peaches

  • Apples

  • Sweet Bell Peppers

  • Celery

  • Nectarines

  • Strawberries

  • Cherries

  • Pears

  • Grapes (Imported)

  • Spinach

  • Lettuce

  • Potatoes

 

12 Least Contaminated (These can be purchased non-organic if you are looking to save money)

  • Onions

  • Avocado

  • Sweet Corn (Frozen, NON-GMO only)

  • Pineapples

  • Mango

  • Asparagus

  • Sweet Peas (Frozen)

  • Kiwi Fruit

  • Bananas

  • Cabbage

  • Broccoli

  • Papaya

 

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About Alina Z.

Alina Z., aka “The Green Goddess,” is a certified holistic health coach, detox specialist and raw-food chef (she conducts occasional classes at Whole Foods in Boca). Prior to moving to Florida,  Alina hosted her own TV show in Maryland—“Entertaining A to Z”—for people who didn’t have time to cook but wanted to eat healthy. Catch one of her web episodes at eHow.com, visit Alina’s website at alinaz.com, or follow her on Facebook (facebook.com/CoutureFood) or Twitter (@CoutureFood). The Green Goddess blog runs every other Wednesday at bocamag.com.