The Benefits of Organic Food




A little goes a long way

One hurdle to going organic is the cost. According to Consumer Reports, you’ll pay about 50 percent more on average for organic produce. But to benefi t your family’s health, you don’t need to buy organic everything. In fact, you can lower your pesticide exposure by 90 percent simply by avoiding the 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables (see “Best Foods to Buy Organic,” left) and opting for the least contaminated ones instead.

Alternately, you could start slowly and purchase just a few items each week. Right now, only 23 percent of American consumers buy organic products on a weekly basis. “If we can get a lot of people to do a little, it will make a big difference,” maintains Greene. “Make one out of every 10 foods you buy organic. Pick one thing—apples, peaches or milk, for instance.”

Greene recommends joining a new campaign called Mission Organic 2010, in which you pledge to buy just one organic food for every ten items on your grocery list through the year 2010—just 10 percent of your cart! (See organic-center.org/about.join.html to sign up.) Here are two ways to make organic shopping easier— and cheaper—for you:

Think globally, eat locally
Organic products at your local farmers’ markets tend to be cheaper than those in the grocery stores. Visit ams.usda.gov/farmersmarkets or localharvest.org to find a farmers’ market or food co-op near you.

Mail-order your organics
You can even shop online for organic meats and produce; some grocers offer next-day delivery anywhere in the U.S. For more information, visit theorganicpages.com.

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN TODDLER MAGAZINE, SPRING ‘07