We've all read those top 10 articles listing the foods that we need to buy organic. But guess what, there are just as many organic foods that are a big ol' waste of money. From avocados to onions, these fruits and veggies are best bought in the bargain aisle. Save those extra pennies for something more important, like $10 chocolate.
Avocados, like bananas, have thick skins that protect the fleshy insides of the fruits from absorbing any pesticides sprayed on them while growing. Plus, they have a much lower number of residues when they are prepared to eat and are on the Environmental Working Group's Clean 15 list, meaning they have less pesticides than many other fruits. Oh, and organic avocados are like $3 more expensive so don't bother.
Here's a bit of information you may not know: The USDA doesn't actually provide organic standards for seafood, like fish and shellfish, which means those salmon fillets labeled "organic" are probably no different than the cheaper ones next to them. Seafood is expensive enough, why spend more money on just words?
Want something to sing about? Onions don't need pesticides since the bulb-like vegetables grow underground, which makes them safe from many of those pesky insects buzzing about the trees. And like our dates (and husbands), insects are also repelled by the, um, rather pungent aroma of onions. If you need one more reason not to splurge, studies have shown that organic onions don't provide any higher level of antioxidants than nonorganic onions.
You know how annoying it is to peel a pineapple, right? Well, that annoying prickly peel that makes you bleed (and leaves you cursing) every single time also protects the delicious fruit from absorbing any and all agricultural chemicals.
If you've ever been to Vermont, you'll notice that authentic maple syrup can set you back an arm and a leg. Well, if you check the price of the organic stuff, you're going to shell out both of your legs and head too. And there's really no reason to pay all that, either. Organic and nonorganic syrup is generally made the same way and state licenses, along with annual inspections, are required by the USDA in both cases. Organic certification requires one additional inspection to verify that no chemicals or pesticides were used, though most maple syrup doesn't contain these anyway, since international guidelines follow those organic standards.
Like the avocado, cabbage is on the USDA EWG's Clean 15 list, meaning all cabbage tested was found to be low in pesticides and chemicals. And like most children, picky husbands and, well, anyone else, insects too aren't keen on the look and taste of the cabbage. If you do buy nonorganic, shed the top few layers, as those are the ones typically hit with sprays.
Husking, peeling and shucking brings out the redneck in all of us, and before you drop all of your banjo money on fancy corn, remember this, the USDA found no detectable pesticides or chemicals on any of the corn they tested in 2013. So stick to regular!
As annoying as fruits like mangoes and avocados are to peel, you should be thankful for those thick, inedible, annoying peels. For one, they protect the sweet fleshy fruits from absorbing the chemical sprays used in farms and trees. Pesticides are heavily saturated on the peels of mangoes, so peeling them (if you can without a bottle of wine) will get rid of the bad stuff!
These florets don't retain as many pesticides as other vegetables because they are less likely to be attacked by insects. I mean, if your kids and husband won't eat it without a gallon of cheese, what makes you think picky insects would? Buy the florets that are tightly bundled, and the florets should be deep green.
Quinoa is so in right now, but spending more than $10 a bundle is not. Unlike many other grains and wheat, quinoa doesn't require as many pesticides since it has a rich coating that contains bitter and sour tasting natural chemicals. To avoid extra contaminants, rinse your quinoa before eating.
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