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Sunday, March 14, 2010

Smarty Tips for Organic Shopping

By Dana D, Charlotte Smarty Pants

Buying organic food can be overwhelming and expensive. Of course, we would like to buy everything organic but with the present state of the economy this may not be possible. However, organic food is very important for our children. Children are particularly susceptible to pesticides in food. Relative to body weight, children eat more than adults therefore, they consume more pesticides, preservatives, hormones etc... Especially if you have a picky eater and they are eating only a few fruits or vegetables. It is likely that they are ingesting one pesticide in large amounts which could accumulate to toxic amounts for a small body. Pregnant women should also be careful since pesticides do cross the placenta and expose the fetus.

The most important organic food to buy in my opinion is milk and meat. To reduce your risk of exposure if not buying organic, try to wash (with a fruit/veggie wash) and peel fruit or vegetables. Also look for locally-grown foods since they are less likely to be treated with post harvest pesticides. Check out our farmer’s markets in the Triad: Winston-Salem, Greensboro and the centrally located Piedmont Triad Farmers Market. (If there are other farmer's markets to note, please add them in the comment section below!).

Remember that pesticides have been found in baby food as well. It turns out that some of the pesticides used are able to penetrate the skin and are absorbed into the flesh of the fruit or vegetable. FYI- Peaches are one of the worst offenders. According to Consumer Reports, single servings consistently exceeded the EPA’s daily limit for a 44 pound child.

Below I created a Smarty list of the must-buy organic foods, in my opinion. If you are like me, I need lists for EVERYTHING these days. I cannot go to the grocery store without a list or it is a given that I will forget the most important thing needed at the Dunbar household! I have also included a link to a pocket-sized list for safe and sustainable seafood to print and take to the store or keep with you when eating out.

Dana's Organic Shopping List:

  • strawberries
  • raspberries
  • apples
  • grapes
  • raisins
  • grape juice
  • peaches
  • nectarines
  • aprictos
  • pears
  • cherries
  • lemons
  • limes
  • bananas
  • kiwi
  • cantaloupe
  • tomatoes
  • potatoes
  • carrots
  • corn
  • celery
  • cucumbers
  • spinach
  • green & red peppers
  • lettuce
  • hot peppers
  • green beans
  • hard winter squash
  • rice
  • oats
  • baby food
  • buy non-GMO (genetically modified) corn, soy
  • milk
  • eggs
  • cheese
Here is the link to the Pocket Seafood Selector. It will give you the BEST, OKAY and WORST choices for seafood.

I hope this is helpful - happy shopping! If you are unsure how to leave a comment below, click here to find out the simple steps!

And on a separate note: Triad Smarty Pants is pleased to announce that Dana D, blogger with Charlotte Smarty Pants, delivered a beautiful baby girl, Lilly, this week. Congrats, Dana and best wishes!


Jessica said...

Another great list is published by the Environmental Working Group (EWG). It helps you prioritize which fruits and vegetables are worth spending the extra $$ and which you can buy conventionally. Also has an iPhone app!

And, I believe that the foods are listed in order, so the ones at the top of the Dirty Dozen is the worst offender, and the one at the top of the Clean 15 is the best, etc.

FWIW, I'm a big believer in high quality food. I've also found that my children will eat more veggies if they are organic b/c they taste better, too!

Jessica said...

What I meant to say was
" the one at the top of the Dirty Dozen list..."
Sorry about the typo!!

Anonymous said...

there is a great local market in Lewisville called the Mostly Local Market. It is across the street from Lewisville United Methodist Church. Almost everything they sell, including meat and eggs is procuded locally. Not sure if everything is organic but some is. The website is

Jenn Sine said...

All natural meats and vegetables can also be DELIVERED to your home at no additional expense through Southern Foods At Home. All natural - without any steroids, growth hormones, pesticides, preservatives... chemically pure food. Send me an email if anyone wants more information. FYI - eating healthy does not HAVE to be expensive! We provide all natural food comparative to grocery store prices.

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