Organic vs. Non-Organic Veggie Shopping

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Organic vs.Non-Organic Veggie Shopping

Do you always buy organic? This is a question I get asked a lot!

Organic has been a bit of a hype word over the last few years and sometimes we can get hung up on the labels. I do believe that due to the farming/ agriculture methods and soil quality, buying organic can be beneficial to our health. There’re also a number of fruit and veg that tend to absorb more of pesticides and harmful things into them when not grown organically, so choosing those carefully can be helpful.

What does it mean for a fruit or veg to be 'organic'?

Those fruit and vegetables are different from non-organic because they are grown and processed with organic farming methods. This means that some of the practices or fertilizers that are normal in mass production aren't allowed.

Some of organic plant farming practices include:

  • No to synthetic fertilizers - organic farmers rely on natural methods like composting, and animal manure to improve the soil.

  • No to synthetic herbicides - e.g. weeds are controlled with crop rotation or hand weeding.

  • Limit synthetic pesticides - use of different methods instead, e.g. eat pests, traps, and naturally-produced pesticides.

How to shop organic

BUT. Beautifully and naturally grown produce usually comes with a higher price tag. I’d say- whatever you do, don’t avoid the greens and fruit just because you can’t afford it! Eating conventional or organic fruit and veg is essential for our health, so just go with what your budget allows. How to do it?

The way I worked it out for my shopping is that I always try to aim for certain veg or fruit to be organic (those that tend to absorb more pesticides) and I just roll with the rest. Often I also look at the country of origin- if I see blueberries from the US and the UK (and I'm shopping in London) , I will most likely go for the local product as it will be (usually) fresher = more nutritional value (but, buying local vs. not is almost a whole other topic!). 

Dirty Dozen

Have you heard about the dirty dozen list issued by the EWG every year? It basically tells you which fruits and vegetables have the most pesticides. Now, as much as EWG is based on the US produce, it gives you an idea of which veg/ fruit are likely to be on the ‘dirty’ list in your own country. I treat it as a rough guide wherever/ whichever country I shop in.

The usual 'dirty' suspects are spinach, kale, apples, and most berries. Usually avocado, onions, cauliflower, broccoli or many more are fine. It tells me that organic avocado may not be as important as looking for a bunch of fresh organic spinach! I recommend checking the list regularly, it’s pretty fascinating!

How do you choose your produce? Let me know over on Instagram!