Top Tips for Eating Organic on a Budget

23 Oct 2012 Complementary

Summer is here and our Farmers’ Markets are overflowing with the best organic produce.  Eating organic means avoiding the nasty pesticide residue that can be left on our food.  Pesticide residue isn’t healthful for anyone but is of greatest concern to pregnant women and young children. Unfortunately eating organic can be challenging to your food budget. Here are a few tips to make healthful eating a little easier on your pocketbook.

Shop at one of our many beautiful Bay Area farmers’ markets. If you are particularly happy with a vendor ask about seconds, discounts for bulk purchasing or how to buy their produce when the market is closed.

Consider joining a CAS (community supported agriculture program). Your money goes toward a local farm’s operating expense and in turn you’ll get weekly boxes of freshly harvested fruits and vegetables

Grow your own fruits and vegetables. Gardening is a great family activity and you may find that your kids become more adventuresome in their food choices. There is something exciting about eating the fruits of your labor!

Become an expert freezer or canner to get great organic taste in the winter months. Take advantage of summer’s bounty and buy bulk at a cheaper price.

Buy organic where it really counts. The Environmental Working Group’s annual list of the “Dirty Dozen” foods can help you decide where to go organic. The EWG estimates that you can decrease your pesticide exposure by 80 % by switching to organic when buying these 12 foods. For more information check out

The Dirty Dozen:

  • Apples and apple products such as apple sauce and apple juice
  • Celery
  • Sweet bell peppers
  • Peaches
  • Strawberries
  • Imported Nectarines
  • Grapes
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Cucumbers
  • Domestic blueberries
  • Potatoes
  • Green beans and kale (not on the list but exercise caution)


The following foods have been determined to be so clean that the added expense of organic isn’t worth stretching your weekly food budget:

  • Onions
  • Sweet corn
  • Pineapple
  • Avocado
  • Asparagus
  • Sweet peas
  • Mango
  • Eggplant
  • Cantaloupe (domestic)
  • Kiwi
  • Cabbage
  • Watermelon
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Grapefruit
  • Mushrooms




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