Organic or Not?

153763376As we’ve been changing our eating habits at the Savage household, one thing I’ve started to be more aware of is what produce I should be buying organic.

As a mom feeding seven hungry people, I usually disregarded organic options in the past because of cost. Our food budget was stretched pretty thin! Yet, I also understood that some fruits and vegetables absorb pesticides more than others and I certainly didn’t want to be feeding that to my family.

When I was introduced to the “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean 15” lists, it provided me with a balanced perspective of where it is valuable to spend the extra money for organic produce and where I can still choose non-organic and be safe.

If you’re not familiar with these lists, I’m including the 2014 list here. You can also find more information here.

Clean Fifteen — these are okay to buy non-organic

Sweet Corn
Sweet Peas
Sweet Potatoes

Dirty Dozen Plus–If you can, consider organic 

Cherry Tomatoes
Hot Peppers
Sweet Bell Peppers
Kale/Collard Greens
Summer Squash

It’s taking a little more effort as I change some of my purchasing practices, but I believe the health trade-off is worth it.

What about you?  Have you changed any of your eating or shopping practices in exchange for health benefits?


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9 thoughts on “Organic or Not?

  1. Hi Jill!
    I just love Hearts at Home for all the encouragement you give, it inspires me every day. And I’ve been to 7 Hearts at Home conferences in Rochester, MN and I couldn’t be at my best without them as a mom! I am also a registered dietitian and I applaud your focus on health and wanted to share a resource with you. It’s something I talk with my clients about when we are having the discussion about organic vs. nonorganic. Check out where there is a pesticide calculator for the most common fruits and vegetables we all eat. It’s science-based and dietitian approved! I also write about how moms can make the most nourishing choices for their families on my website:
    Thanks Jill!
    Jen Haugen, RDN, LD

  2. After viewing the video “Genetic Roulette” by Jeffrey Smith, I have switched to buying only organic produce and certified Non-GMO and organic grocery items wherever possible. I no longer use Round-up on my property, and I lobby for the labeling of all foods that are genetically modified. This video came into our lives at a time when our 16 year old daughter was having serious digestive issues. We’ve determined that she cannot eat whole corn at all, and is also gluten sensitive. I refuse to feed genetically modified foods to my family, or eat it myself. Since we’ve gone organic, everyone feels much better!

  3. We decided last summer to start a semi-whole foods diet. We can’t really afford organic where we live but have a garden in the summer so things are fairly natural. We manage to freeze a few amount to get us through most the winter. I have started washing all of our fruit with vinegar and water to at least get lot of the stuff off. Not as good as doing organic but at least better than our previous just rinsing.

    One of the things we are doing is cutting out a lot of refined sugar and preservatives. We’ve been using pure cane sugar or maple syrup that we make ourselves. And we have switched to organic bread as I can’t keep up with making our own. It’s quite gross what is in a regular loaf of bread for chemicals, preservatives, etc.

  4. I look at the health benefits more than the cost. I’m willing to sacrifice other area’s in our budget than to risk spending a fortune on medical costs in the future. When eating 100% organic, non-GMO foods your lowering your risk of developing so many medical problems. To read more on the risk factors of GMO’s read this article I actually encourage all of you to do your research. Knowledge is Power! “Stop counting calories and start counting chemicals!” The way to live is to stop being so dependent on modern day conveniences, buy organic, plant a garden, raise animals, and be a little more self sufficient! This will lower so much of the pollution that is caused by factory farms. It’s not all going into the atmosphere, all these chemicals are going into our water supply too. It’s just a vicious cycle, so buying organic for me is more than the just the health benefits. Any little difference I can make by supporting farmers and ranchers to use “clean practices” would leave such a better planet for generations to come.