Ideally, all of the food I buy would be organic and locally grown. However, realistically, that is unlikely to happen anytime soon. First of all, I don’t make enough money to buy everything organic. Secondly, while more and more foods are being made in an organic option, there are going to be times where it just isn’t something that is readily available.

If you are like me and want to go organic but don’t really have the resources, I’ve done some digging and discovered the things that are best to buy organic when you can, and a few where saving the money and buying the traditionally-farmed food is fine.

Buy Organic:

  • These are a must. If you like apples and consume them regularly, you should know that are the biggest offender when it comes to pesticide residue.
  • These summertime staples are also chock full of pesticides. You are much better off consuming organic blueberries that have been washed thoroughly.
  • I know when you buy these at the store, they often already look dirty. It should be no surprise, then, when I tell you that they’re also covered in pesticides. So wash, wash, wash those suckers, and buy them organic!
  • Corn has been frankensteined into who-knows-what with its GMOs, and nobody has any idea what the long term effects they will have on us. So everything I have read recommends that you buy organic, and stay away from anything with corn-based sweeteners if you want to avoid GMOs.
  • Leafy greens. It’s hard to clean them, which makes them more likely to harbor chemicals. If you want to be healthy and eat a salad, you certainly don’t want to be consuming pesticides along with your meal. Do yourself a favor and get your lettuce, collard greens, and kale from the organic section.
  • Starchy, delicious spuds are also pound-for-pound pretty high in pesticides.

Save Your Money:

  • These nutritious powerhouses are the least likely to contain residue of pesticides. That means no matter which way you serve them, they don’t have to be organic!
  • They consistently come up cleaner than other produce, which is good news for those of you who like onions in your stir-fry or on your burgers!
  • Anybody who has ever tried to cut an avocado knows that it is no easy feat. So it makes sense that the same skin that can make them torture to cut also helps to prevent them from absorbing harmful chemicals!
  • Again, that thick skin really helps to keep the part of the pineapple we eat from being coated in nasty pesticides. So the next time you’re sore or are experiencing inflammation, have some pineapple and know that it is pretty safe to eat.
  • I was really surprised by this, but apparently buying them organic is unnecessary. They seem to be just fine no matter how you buy them—no worries!
  • Sweet potatoes. Another surprise for me, because potatoes get a bad rap. But these flavorful Thanksgiving staples are healthy and safe to eat whichever way you buy them.

This is, by all means, not an exhaustive list. If you want to know more, you should definitely search for the Environmental Working Group, who tests food for pesticides and regularly publishes a list of what’s safe to eat and what’s best to buy organic, as well as providing a whole host of other healthy information.