Hello again! Welcome and welcome back to How to Save the World and Your Wallet by Buying Organic. If you missed Part One, here it is.
Buying all organic produce can be a strain on the budget. Buying wisely is often a much more achievable option for most folks, ourselves included.
Every year, the Environmental Working Group tests pesticide and herbicide residues on different kinds of produce and compiles the information into these two lists: the "dirtiest" produce, with the most chemical residue, and the "cleanest" types of produce, with the least residue. These two lists are invaluable to my grocery shopping. To make them a part of your shopping trips you can download a PDF version or an app to keep them at your fingertips when shopping.
It is important to note that apples are the "dirtiest" conventional produce item. This is sad because I think they are the most ubiquitous - even if you don't eat many fruits and veggies you are likely to have an apple from time to time - and probably the one that folks feed to their kids the most (that and bananas!). The good news about that is most grocery stores have 5 lb bags of organic apples for about $5/bag. That's almost the price of buying conventional apples by the pound (organic apples run about $2/lb).
One "Clean" item to be wary of may be sweet corn - rumors have been floating around that Monsanto has debuted a sweet corn GMO that could be hitting stores in 2013. If you'd like to voice your opposition to this happening, please do so - GMOs are currently not labeled in the US, so you will have no other way of knowing whether you are consuming this item or not if it goes into production. For now, it seems conventional sweet corn is a relatively safe option.
Stay tuned tomorrow for more produce-purchasing advice!