Today were getting into the non-negotiables of the grocery world! Some of you may have already heard of these as the "dirty dozen". Basically, these are produce items (fruits and veggies) that you should ALWAYS buy organic.
Um, okay but why?
The fruits and veggies that are listed above are the most contaminated with pesticides. AKA: they are toxic!
There are different pesticides that link to different health risks, but overall, pesticides cause hormonal imbalance, disruption of the nervous and endocrine systems, and CANCER.
This sucks, I know. Many of us eat fresh produce for nutrients and for optimal health, but if you're consuming these items conventionally (non-organic), you're actually putting your health at risk.
But buying organic is expensive.
Yes, I know. It does cost more.
Most organic items are $.50 - $2.00 more than conventional items. But when you consider that your health is at risk, it doesn't seem like such a big price to pay.
Shopping organic on a tight budget.
Transitioning to buying organic produce can be a gradual thing. Start by swapping just 1 or 2 of your items. Then, each week or so, continue to switch another item. Soon enough you will have learned to adjust to your new budget and you will be eating and feeling much better!
I first learned about the non-negotiables a few years ago from an acquaintance who was a major health nut. His words exactly: "buy those items organic or don't eat them at all".
I was new to LA at the time and not to mention, completely broke! But I was extremely dedicated to achieving optimal health and his words haunted me every time I went shopping. Heck, they still do!
So I would buy the necessary organic items and the rest I would buy conventionally. Over time, I have managed to buy almost all of my produce organic, by slowly making more room in my budget for food and by being smart about where I shop.
With that being said, you are going to find the best organic produce for the best price at your local farmers market. It might require more work, and yes you might have to get up early on Saturday or Sunday morning, but it is SO worth it.
The "Clean Fifteen"
So along with my scary list of dirty produce, I have also made a list of the cleanest fruits and veggies for you guys. These are produce items that aren't too dangerous to eat conventionally.
Foods with thick skin or an outer layer (that you aren't going to consume) are generally safer to eat non-organic than foods of the opposite.
I hope you found this post helpful! If you would like additional tips for shopping organic on a budget feel free to ask me in the comments below! Being a bonafide budget shopper has made me very good at it ;)
xoxo - Cort