When to spring for organic produce

organic produce
organic produce

It's Earth Day and everywhere I turn, I keep seeing green. Last weekend alone, I read articles on green remodeling and chemical-free gardening and yesterday I watched a segment on The Today Show called "Green Your Diet."

According to Today Show guest Annie Bell Muzaurieta of Greendaily.com, the five fruits and vegetables worth springing for organic are peaches, sweet bell peppers, apples, celery and strawberries-those most likely to retain the highest level of pesticides.

The big question is, Does it pay to buy organic? According to a Weight Watchers article titled "Organic Foods: A Shopper's Guide," buying organic is worth the extra cost for pregnant women and children under three, when buying foods you eat most often or a lot of, and food that contains a lot of pesticides (Their list includes peaches, apples, sweet bell peppers, celery, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, pears, imported grapes, spinach, lettuce and potatoes).

Of course, it's hard to measure the benefits of switching to an organic diet, but it comes down to whether there's room in your budget for the added cost of produce made without pesticides or fertilizers. The good news is that organic produce is more widely available in supermarkets than ever before, but it can still be up to 100% more expensive than conventional produce.

When I buy conventional produce, I wash it with a product called Veggie Wash sold in many supermarkets for about $4. The spray bottle lasts months and was recommend to me by a naturopath when I was doing a detoxification program last year. I'm sure it doesn't remove pesticides absorbed into food, but it helps me feel like I'm doing something to reduce the toxins in my family's diet.