Try it Tuesday: Best & Worst Produce to Buy Organic

2:11 PM

Unless you're made of money transitioning to organic won't happen overnight. Despite my frequent fantasies of throwing out all of our things and restocking with organic, we still house garbage like Heinz ketchup and Old Spice deodorant.

So if you, like me, want to go-orgo over time you should know which fruits and veggies should be your priority and which can take some time.

The Environmental Working Group has come out with a list of 12 fruits and vegetables, known as the "dirty dozen" that should be the very first that you transition to organic with. They are notorious for high pesticide levels.

The offenders are:

6NectarinesNectarines – imported
7GrapesGrapes – imported
8Red PepperSweet bell peppers
10BlueberriesBlueberries – domestic
12KaleKale/collard greens

Here are my suggestions.

There are 8 items on this list that you need to begin growing in your own garden right away (celery, strawberries, spinach, bell peppers, potatoes, blueberries, lettuce and kale). If you don't have land, rent through the Community Gardens program in your city. Though they don't keep long fresh, most of these fruits and veggies can be put by with a few easy steps. Chop celery or bell peppers into the size pieces that you'd use for a stirfry or other similar recipe, then freeze as such in a freezer bag. Strawberries and blueberries can be made into jam or sauce and canned in mason jars. They freeze well also. Spinach and kale can both be blanched and frozen in glass storage containers. And potatoes should last in a cool, dark place but if they go green, throw them out. Lettuce is the only trick... try growing it indoors all year ground with a simple grow light that you can purchase in any hardware store.

Organic apples can be u-picked at Avalon Farms in Innisfil (near Barrie) which is my recommendation, or any organic farm in your area. Peaches, nectarines and grapes are often found organic in the grocery store. If you don't see them there, request them.

These 12 items are a great place to start when transitioning to organic.

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