4 Things to Consider When Shopping for Organic Food

by | Updated: November 16th, 2016 | Read time: 2 minutes

Whether you’re new to the organic movement or an old pesticide-free food pro, you may still have questions on the best way to shop for organic foods. Is it necessary to buy organic all of the time? Is it ever OK to eat conventional? Is everything organic waistline friendly? Check out this simple guide to clear up some common questions.

Organic Shopping Tips

1. Avoid the dirty dozen

Always shop organic when you buy produce on the dirty dozen list, which includes produce with the highest-known levels of pesticides and herbicides, even after washing.

  1. Strawberries
  2. Apples
  3. Nectarines – imported
  4. Peaches
  5. Celery
  6. Grapes
  7. Cherries
  8. Spinach
  9. Tomatoes
  10. Sweet bell peppers
  11. Cherry tomatoes
  12. Cucumbers

2. Shop the clean fifteen

Some fruits and veggies, also known as the clean 15, are generally OK to buy from the conventional aisles. You could also shop at a local farmer’s market. Although the produce may not be certified organic, you may find a farmer who does not use pesticides and herbicides on crops.

  1. Avocado
  2. Sweet corn – (non-GMO)
  3. Pineapple
  4. Cabbage
  5. Sweet peas – frozen
  6. Onions
  7. Asparagus
  8. Mangoes
  9. Papayas
  10. Kiwi
  11. Eggplant
  12. Honeydew melon
  13. Grapefruit
  14. Cantaloupe
  15. Cauliflower

(Check the Environmental Working Group site for the official lists.)

 3. Always read labels

Read labels even on organic packaged foods. Ideally, packaged foods will have five ingredients or less, or they will be made from all-real food without chemical additives. Products can be labeled 100 percent organic or made with a percentage of organic ingredients. Check the ingredients list so you know just how much of what you’re getting is organic.

4. Don’t forget nutrition

Organic packaged food may still be loaded with sugar, saturated fat and salt. Keep up your habit of reading labels and checking serving sizes. Just because something says organic on the label doesn’t automatically make it waistline-friendly!

Tip: the best place to buy organic foods & snacks is at Vitacost.com!