holistic living, organic, the yoga life
Comments 3

Organic Foods: Spurge vs Save and How to Choose

By this point, the average health conscious person is aware organic living is the way to go. We know we’re supposed to avoid artificial ingredients that make food more like a science experiment than a nutritious source. GMO’s are also rightfully getting more and more attention as consumers are slowly but surely being alerted to the hazards of consuming these science experiments.

Whenever possible, as much as possible, we want to eat organic food so we can safely avoid pesticides and genetically radically altered food. But let’s be real, it can really break the bank to eat healthy. I hear this from many of my married friends with children, and I sympathize. My husband and I pay a ridiculous amount of money on groceries, and that’s even with meal planning and budgeting. We also save money by eating out less, so it evens out a bit.

Food should be safe to eat, but the simple truth is that most FDA approved foods aren’t healthy. In fact, they’re dangerous to consume. In particular, GMO foods are especially dangerous to eat, but deciphering which fruits and veggies are GMO can be tricky though. And how are we supposed to know which foods contain high levels of poisons, toxins, and other contaminants that we want to avoid putting in our bodies? Fortunately, there are three easy steps to make shopping a little safer. And yes, I think it’s a modern day travesty that purchasing food in America can be a hazard to our health, but let’s not dwell on that for now. This is a post to empower us a little bit more to make simple choices that enhance our health and well-being.


1. Know the Stickers

The stickers on fruit actually tell you quite a bit about the produce you’re about to purchase: 4 numbers mean they were conventionally grown, 5 numbers starting with number 8 means they are genetically modified (GMO) 5 numbers starting with 9 means they were organically grown (no pesticides or nasty GMOs)

EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists

2. Know the Big, Bad Extra Pesticide Covered Foods (Aka The Dirty Dozen)

  1. Apples

  2. Peaches

  3. Nectarines

  4. Strawberries

  5. Grapes

  6. Celery

  7. Spinach

  8. Sweet bell peppers

  9. Cucumbers

  10. Cherry tomatoes

  11. Snap peas – imported

  12. Potatoes

  13. Peppers +

  14. Kale / Collard greens +

These foods are have ridiculously high levels of pesticides, and it’s such a tragedy that Americans buy these fruits and vegetables in an effort to be healthy, but they are unknowingly consuming high levels of poison. Is it any wonder cancer, heart issues, auto-immune diseases and other health problems are increasingly on the rise despite our miraculous scientific breakthroughs?

While a household might not be able to invest the food budget required for locally grown, organic foods, the above list is a good start of what foods to avoid buying if they are not organic. Bottom line: when it comes to the Dirty Dozen, splurge on organic.

EWG's Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean Fifteen Lists

3. Know the Clean 15 Foods

  1. Avocados

  2. Sweet Corn

  3. Pineapples

  4. Cabbage

  5. Sweet peas frozen

  6. Onions

  7. Asparagus

  8. Mangos

  9. Papayas

  10. Kiwi

  11. Eggplant

  12. Grapefruit

  13. Cantaloupe

  14. Cauliflower

  15. Sweet potatoes

Fortunately, these foods have a low level of pesticides and other toxins, so it’s safer to purchase these even if they aren’t organic. Of course, the healthiest thing is to make sure they are GMO free. The Clean 15 is a good list to save some money if you aren’t wanting or able to go fully organic.

CONCLUSION: Buying organic foods doesn’t have to break the bank. Armed with some useful knowledge and a little planning, you can take over the produce section by storm. Remember, the most effective way to get large businesses to make healthy changes is by hurting them where they care most: their profits. If we don’t buy their GMO, pesticide ridden foods, they will start accommodating our desire for healthy foods. When we buy organic, we help not only ourselves, but the community. That’s a good investment.

EWG has an app that conveniently lets you know food scores while you shop.  The app ranks nutrition, ingredients, and processing concerns so you can always know exactly what you’re purchasing. I hope some of these tips help you know which organic foods to splurge or save on! Much happiness and health to you!


  1. snicholas03 says

    This is a really informative post. Its true that we can’t all live the optimal organic lifestyle so its great to know when to splurge and when to save!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s