When to Go Organic

There are 3 simple rules for when you should spend and when you can save your money.

People always ask whether buying organic is healthier, and the answer is yes. Eating organic protects you from potentially harmful chemicals such as pesticides. But going green is rarely cheap, and it's not always essential, which is why we've created 3 simple rules for when you should spend your green to go green and when to save your cash with conventional foods.

Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables with a thin skin that is difficult to remove or that you typically eat should definitely be organic. They have high levels of pesticides even after washing. Produce with thicker skins has a better barrier to pesticides, and when you throw the peel in the trash, the chemicals go with it. But be sure to give all fruits and veggies a good scrub down before eating or peeling them, because cutting them can bring any chemicals on the skin into the flesh. 


Go Organic: Apples, peaches, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, cherries, grapes, pears, nectarines, peppers, celery, potatoes, and carrots

Save Your Cash: Avocados, eggplants, pineapples, bananas, corn, kiwi, mangoes, papaya, sweet peas, oranges, grapefruit, and squash

Leafy Greens

Can you imagine scrubbing every leaf of a head of romaine lettuce? It's too difficult with leafy greens to make sure you remove all of the chemicals, and greens are particularly susceptible to pests, so they are often grown with high levels of pesticides. Fortunately, other vegetables, such as broccoli, either don't retain pesticides very well or don't need a lot to begin with, so it's okay to go with conventionally grown varieties.

Go Organic: All lettuces and greens such as kale, collards, mustard, swiss chard, and spinach

Save Your Cash: Broccoli, cabbage, asparagus, cauliflower, eggplant, melons, and sweet potatoes

Dairy and Fish

Although much of the hormones and antibiotics used in conventional milk production are washed out before we drink it, the process isn't perfect and some make it through. Plus, there is evidence that organic milk has higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which help keep our hearts healthy.

But be wary when you see fish touted as organic. Fish grow in the ocean, where it's impossible to know what (if any) pesticides they've encountered, so the USDA has no guidelines for certifying organic seafood.

Go Organic: Milk, yogurt, and cheese

Save Your Cash: Fish and other seafood

Related: 

4 Tips to Help You Go Organic

The Organic Food Buyer’s Guide

The Problem With Imported Organic Foods

Will you ever feel comfortable in your own skin? That is, if you don't make an effort to protect it? Although 64% of adults do report wearing sunscreen when outside for prolonged periods of time, it turns out that only about 10% of people surveyed actually protect themselves daily, according to a recent review.

No matter what your skin tone is, unless you live in a cave with no sunlight, daily protection with either sunscreen, sunblock or protective clothing can not only protect you from developing sunburns (ouch!) but can significantly reduce your risk of developing skin cancer, particularly the deadliest type called melanoma. In addition, for those of you wanting to keep your youthful looks, daily sunscreen has been shown to reduce the development of wrinkles. A great teacher once told me that the best way to not have wrinkles is not to get them in the first place (think of how much money you can save on useless creams that claim to diminish wrinkles).

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