Is Buying Organic Worth The Cost?

Foods that are certified organic contain little to no pesticide residues, antibiotics, or growth hormones. Advocates or eating organic claim that eating organic food is healthier and safer than foods not grown organically. Many people want to reduce the pesticides and chemicals they are exposed to.

However, there is no solid proof that conventionally grown foods should be considered dangerous, and some health experts aren't convinced that humans ingest enough agricultural chemicals from non-organic foods to threaten their health. Of course, just because we don't have all the evidence to explain the danger doesn't mean the danger isn't there. So eating organic food is certainly a way to play it safe. I prefer to err on the side of caution. But I am just recently beginning to purchase organic foods and taking it slowly because of the greater expense of feeding a larger family.

Eating any fruits and vegetables is better than eating none at all. It is very important to thoroughly wash all fruits and vegetables you buy whether they are organic and not. Some are easier to rinse, soak and then rinse again. Others, with a firm skin can be rubbed with a cloth under running water. Even melons, whose skin you don't eat, need to be thoroughly washed before cutting into them to avoid contamination from the skin sliding through the whole melon on the knife blade. 

If you are concerned about your budget, choose to go organic by being selective about which foods you buy organic. According to an analysis by the USDA, the following foods (nicknamed the "dirty dozen") were found to contain the highest pesticide levels:


Bell peppers



Grapes (imported varieties)








To see where your favorite fruits and vegetables rank in terms of pesticide loads, go to, the Web site of the Environmental Working Group.