He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young
. {Isaiah 40:11}

19 January 2011

Buying Organic on a Budget

To put it simply... there are certain fruits and veggies that either have more pesticides used on them or absorb more pesticides when they're sprayed. It's ideal to buy organic but it's usually not the most budget friendly way of eating so if you're overwhelmed by the price tags and aren't sure where to start... here's a good place.

A couple general rules that I'm familiar with are:
1. Plants absorb nutrients through their leaves and roots so things like lettuce and carrots make sense to buy organic. 
2. Non-organic potatoes are often heavily sprayed to keep them from producing roots in storage. There is so much good nutrients in the skins of potatoes but if they're sprayed it's best to peel them.
3. If you have the chance, buy local. When buying at a local Farmer's Market you are much less likely to run into any of the unnecessary pesticides generally used for preservation and are way more likely to find heirloom varieties which haven't been genetically modified.
4. Look for the seal. In order to be Certified USDA Organic a product must not contain synthetic pesticides, bioengineered genes, petroleum or sewage based fertilizers. You can read more about their requirements at the USDA's Organic Certification website.
5. Don't be fooled! Be sure to carefully look over the labels. When something is labeled organic but lacks the seal from the USDA, it may not be as organic as you may think. {Same goes for "All Natural"}. According to the USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service requires that in order to be certified a product must be 95-100% organic. In order to claim that a product  is made with organic ingredients must be at least 70% organic but will not bare the seal. For items that consist of less than 70% each individual ingredient will be listed as organic.

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