Here is the list of foods that are pretty safe without being organic. However, this list is only considering the amount of pesticides found in them after they were sprayed. They do not account for GMOs in food, which engineer not only the crops but our bodies as well.
You could always look for conventionally grown food that’s labeled non-GMO if you want to save some money on the foods listed below. That’s harder to figure out, though, because they aren’t advertised on the shelves as being GMO. The burden, at present, lies with you to avoid GMO in your food. Required GMO labeling is something that is currently being fought for tooth and nail by people like Dr. Joseph Mercola. For now, though, the best thing to start with is avoiding all products made from corn and soy, which are 90-100% GMO in the United States.
Another good trick for saving money yet eat healthy is to buy local. Your local farm of choice may be operating cleanly and as what they call a “passive organic” farm. Without further research, chances are a local farm sprays pesticides but is not GMO. You will have to individually ask the conventional farmer or the brand by doing a bit of research. Again, though, I still recommend no soy/corn, because the seeds have just been way too contaminated by GMO seeds that have spread through air drift from farm to farm.I listed the fruits last on this list, because you wouldn’t want to eat much of those anyway. The vegetables/fruits that are not on the list most likely contain high levels of pesticides.
List of low-pesticide foods:
(Mostly taken from the Clean 15 list, but I found some other safe ones that weren’t on that list.)
- brussels sprouts
- sweet potatoes
- onions & garlic
- grapes (from the U.S.), kiwi, mango, papaya, pineapple, plums, watermelon, bananas
- quinoa (the outside of it is a natural pesticide that you will want to rinse off very well before eating. This was used as a pesticide by ancient South Americans. We have stopped eating quinoa, though, as part of our Bulletproof attempt to eliminate all grains except white rice).
List of foods you should always buy organic (Dirty Dozen):
- domestic blueberries
- sweet bell peppers
- spinach, kale and collard greens
- imported grapes
Good tips to remember while shopping or eating on a budget:
Conventionally raised lean red meat is more okay to eat than farm-raised fish, always. Conventional lean red meat > farm raised fish.
- When you’re stuck eating out, keep that in mind: lean meat. The toxins in the conventional red meat are somewhat lessened when they are lean. Stay away from the fat or fatty parts of conventional meat. There’s some “grain” of truth in the advice that doctors give when they tell you to eat low fat. Fat in a sick animal is where a lot of that animal’s toxicity is.
- You shouldn’t or don’t need to avoid the fat of grass-fed, organic red meats, however. From what I learned, the benefits of consuming this fat (CLA, omega 3’s, and other nutrients) outweigh whatever toxins reside there.
Conventional rice isn’t on the list of low-pesticide foods, but since you’ll want to eat small amounts of rice anyway, there’s no real threat to eating it, in my opinion. I also trust that Chipotle, our favorite pick for where to eat out, gets their rice from a source that’s low in pesticides.
Make tallow. Grass-fed beef fat is about $4/lb. Really cheap—cheaper than grass-fed butter. Tallow is easy to make too. You just put it in the crock pot and don’t think about it until it’s done! 🙂 This is one of those things that is worth making in my opinion, because the time and effort it takes to make this is not much at all. Other people who make sun-dried tomatoes or fresh nut flours get disappointed at how little food comes out of the stress and effort they put into making it, so they stop. I do make fresh nut flour and nut butter though. I just don’t do it regularly enough for it to bother me!
Make homemade treats. Homemade chocolate bars take about 10 minutes to make, then pop it in the fridge or freezer. They’re ready to eat in a few minutes after hardening. It’s easy, you can make a LOT, you can experiment on ingredients and rarely go wrong, and you can control the ingredients. Here are some healthy list of treats (with recipes) I made for the holidays. The price for these treats I can’t guarantee is cheaper than conventional. It probably is, though, because a whole jar of raw honey or box of Stevia and pure organic cocoa powder aren’t all that expensive when you divide the price per oz. or how much you’re using in your recipe. I haven’t done the math though, but I don’t need to, because I know homemade is better for me.
And really, that’s the key, isn’t it? Yes, you should be thrifty and strategic in every area that you can. Hedge your bets on your health, though. Even if you’re spending more money or spending more time to make the stuff that goes into your body healthier, you are ultimately improving your quality of life, and it’s all worth it. Don’t give in to the lie of convenience that the PTB (powers that be) have fed you for years and years, probably just to make you compliant, ill, weak, and dependent on cheap grains, health insurance, and pharmaceuticals. You deserve better than that. So get smart, eat healthy, and get better.