20 Aug

So there I am, in the produce section, and I start sweating.  On one hand, I’ve got beautiful, perfectly decent produce at reasonable prices.  On the other, I have organic foods that call to me with the promise of better health, but they’re so expensive!  What do I do?  Of course I care about my family’s health, but let’s face it, we’re a one-income household that eats and eats…and eats.  Adding to that confusion are articles I’ve read suggesting that some fruits and vegetables are OK to buy conventionally grown – meaning, with the use of pesticides.

And then there’s availability.  My local grocery stores don’t always carry a good organic selection.  Sometimes I really need strawberries, and my closest store may not have any organic ones.  Should I try to squeeze in one more grocery run, when my kids are already whining and complaining about being bored and hungry?  When even then there’s no guarantee that I’ll find the coveted pesticide-free berries?  Believe me, if I had all the time and money in the world, you would find me at Whole Foods or local farmers’ markets every week, buying only organic and locally grown produce.  But I have to be realistic.  I have limited resources, so I have to pick and choose what I buy.

But because of all the health-related dangers that chemical pesticides seem to present, I’m trying to introduce more organic produce into our refrigerator.  I hope that by doing so gradually, I’ll lessen the sticker shock I feel when looking at my grocery bill.  I’ve heard that berries and tomatoes soak up lots of chemicals, so I try to go organic on those.  And recently I read the same thing for peaches and celery, so those are now on the organic-only list.  Bananas are OK conventionally grown, since the peel is so thick and you don’t eat it.  And peppers…well, I can’t seem to remember the scoop on those.  Clearly I need a cheat sheet along with my shopping list!

How organic are you?  Are there some foods that you are uncompromising about when it comes to the use of pesticides?  Or are you more of a frugal shopper, trying to get the most for your money?

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