What vegetables and fruits need to be organic? Not all produce has to be organic. Many of them contain little to no pesticides and are considered safe by the Environmental Work Group (EWG).
EWG is a watchdog group for the nation's produce. They provide a list of fruits and vegetables that are highest in pesticides. Apples, which are the most popular fruit for kids, is #1 on this list.
The information on this list is important because pesticides can have a negative impact on child development and the overall health of a person. This list also helps us prioritize our spending by helping us purchase only the organic foods that are otherwise unsafe.
Ideally, locally grown produce is also good if you know the farmer or gardener. Typically locally grown means less pesticide use, less handling, fresher and vine-ripen food. However, if locally grown is not available, organic is the best for certain produce.
I do not compromise the green leafy vegetables, or the fruit like apples, peaches, grapes and berries.
All foods sold in bulk are assigned a price look up code (PLU) by the International Federation of Produce Standards. The code assigned to organic produce is a four digit code that always begins with the number '9', for example '9XXX'. This code is printed on a sticker and is placed on each piece of vegetable or fruit that is to sold. It may also indicate where the item originated. Non organic produce, which is also referred to as 'conventional' always begins with the number '4'.
Remember to save the stems of your kale, collards and broccoli. The stem is the direct source of nutrients for the green leafy vegetables and florets that we enjoy. Our broccoli slaw recipe uses shredded broccoli stems. The ground kale and collard stems supply a rich (hidden) amount of nutrients when added to stews, beans, soups, sauces and stir-fries. We do this with many of our recipes.
These are the conditions in order to be certified organic:
We have found a great consistent source of organic salad greens, Sams Club! It is also reasonable. A pound of triple washed baby spinach or mixed greens for under $5! We also found brown rice, quinoa and olive oil.