20120715-184328.jpg

In a perfect world, everything we eat would be home grown, real, whole food and without question “organic.” Unfortunately, the real world often presents more than a few challenges that make that nearly impossible. If we can’t have it perfect, the next best thing is to pick our battles and go organic when a food is highly chemical laden and don’t sweat it when there’s less of a difference between conventional and organic. I like to call it practicing “Optimal Organic.”

Start off by figuring out what foods you eat the most of and/or the most often. If you just focus on buying organic versions of these products, you get a tremendous benefit for a small investment. Anything you eat every day you should try to get the best version of. Whether it is eggs, berries, salad, coffee, meat or potatoes, go organic whenever you can with your most popular foods. With the foods you eat less regularly you can worry a bit less about the organic-ness of it but it is still a good idea to get organic if all things are equal.

Next, look at the individual foods you might buy and determine how “clean” they usually are…

Dirty Foods
So which foods should we buy organic? Foods that are highly sprayed and modified. The biggest offenders? Here are the foods that typically are the “dirtiest” when non organic:

Apples
Strawberries
Blueberries
Red Raspberries
Peaches
Pears
Imported Nectarines and Grapes
Celery
Bell Peppers
Spinach
Lettuce
Kale
Potatoes
Soy
Fatty Meat
Milk
Coffee
Wine
Chocolate
Peanut Butter
Ketchup

Cleaner Foods
These are the foods that are typically the cleanest when non organic…

Onions
Sweet Corn
Pineapple
Avocado
Sweet Peas
Asparagus
Mango
Eggplant
Cantaloupe
Kiwi
Cabbage
Watermelon
Sweet Potatoes
Grapefruit
Mushrooms
Leaner Meats

Additional Tips

Wash your food. It goes a long way to removing chemicals.

Stuck with buying from the dirty list? Removing the peel can be an option if you buy conventional as most of the chemicals reside in or on the peel.

Grow your own whenever possible.
Buy organic whenever possible.
Shop farmers markets whenever possible.
Look into CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture)
Check out EatWild.com or LocalHarvest.org for how to find local fresh, real food.

The Bare 5 Bottom Line on buying Organic:
1. Grow your own produce or locate local farms whenever you can.
2. Buy organic when choosing “dirtier” foods as often as you can.
3. Don’t worry about the other foods unless you are really trying to eat clean.
4. Wash your food and discard the peels if you eat dirty foods.
5. Do the best you can whenever you can.

Thanks for reading, have an great optimal organic day!

For more detailed info and check out OrganicFoodCorner.com, creator of this handy wallet guide to organic produce:

20120715-184344.jpg

Advertisements