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Quickie - Organic Food Buying Guide

What is worth it and what is not worth it.


Care of MSN & Smart Money

Organic foods may be healthier for you, but they can have a sickening effect on your budget.

Produced without pesticides or other chemicals, organic produce, meat and dairy products can cost 50% to 100% more than their conventional counterparts, says Urvashi Rangan, a senior scientist and policy analyst with Consumer Reports' Greener Choices.

You'll get the most bang for your buck by buying organic apples, beef and spinach (see the list below). That's because the conventional counterparts to these foods are laden with pesticides and potentially harmful additives.

Produce such as papayas, bananas and broccoli require fewer pesticides to grow, thereby retaining little to no residue after washing. The peels on bananas and other tropical fruits further reduce your exposure.

WORTH BUYING ORGANIC

Fruits
Apples, cherries, grapes, pears, berries, peaches, nectarines, plums

Veggies
Celery, potatoes, spinach, bell peppers, lettuce, tomatoes, green beans

Meat/dairy
Beef, pork, poultry, eggs, dairy products

Other
Baby food

NOT WORTH BUYING ORGANIC

Fruits
Bananas, kiwis, mangoes, papayas, pineapples, oranges

Veggies
Asparagus, avocados, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, sweet corn, onions, sweet peas

Seafood
All is okay. Check out your sustainable seafood chart.

Other
Processed foods (chips, pasta, etc.), cleaning products, cosmetics


Sources: "Eating Between the Lines," Environmental Working Group and Consumer Reports




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