You likely are no stranger to the benefits of organic foods over conventionally grown foods — organic foods aren’t allowed to be cultivated with nasty pesticides, synthetic growth hormones, or Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). But perhaps the price tags make you wonder if it’s possible to fill your cart with only organic items. 

There are many benefits of eating more organic food, like lowering your exposure to hormone-disrupting toxins.  The costs of healthcare are higher now more than ever, so it makes great sense to take better care of yourself through nourishing foods that don’t have harmful agents in them. 

However, going organic can have a bit of a higher price tag, even if it is worth it in the long run.  If going all organic isn’t an option, you can still take small steps to get safer food on your table.   

Here are a few tips to help you on your next grocery run:  

Always Give Your Kids Organic If You Can 

Because kids are still in a crucial period of growing, if you must make sacrifices in your budget for organics, then you could just buy organic for your children to start with.  Those pesticides and growth hormones can affect their growing bodies. You can start by picking up long-lasting produce that won’t go bad quickly, so you aren’t throwing money down the drain. Just be sure to purchase items that your kids will actually eat or are willing to try. 

Also, Think About Those with Autoimmune Disease and/or Other Chronic Conditions Too! 

Just like how buying organic is crucial for our kids, buying organic is also crucial for those of us with autoimmune disease and/or other chronic conditions. Because our immune systems function differently, staying away from toxins, additives, and GMOs is also extremely important. Our bodies are already going through their own battles; we don’t need to throw gasoline on the fire! 

Go Organic on Meat and Dairy Products 

Conventionally raised livestock is given synthetic growth hormones, and they’re fed grains that contain GMOs.  If that’s not upsetting enough, these animals are often kept in inhumane conditions that you’d be appalled to see.  If you do choose to eat meat, choose organic meats from farms that have an excellent reputation or buy from reputable local farms if you have them in your area. 

Watch Those Fruits and Vegetables 

Want to know something really alarming? Even fruit peels that you don’t eat can absorb the pesticides the fruit is sprayed with. So, when you thought it was fine to choose a banana that wasn’t organic, think again. It’s even more critical when it comes to fruits and vegetables where you do eat the skin.   

For a full list of what fruits and vegetables to consider buying organic versus non-organic, check out the EWG’s yearly Clean 15 / Dirty Dozen list here. I even include a copy of this list in this free download

This is also just a reminder that the general daily recommendation of fruits and vegetables is 7 servings for both adults and kids. I know that I personally am not the greatest at getting 7 servings from what I am eating alone. That’s why I use this resource to bridge the gap between how many fruits and vegetables I should be eating each day versus how many I do eat. It has truly helped over time! 

Avoid GMOs At All Costs 

GMO’s cause a host of problems and should be avoided.  Just a few years ago, GMOs weren’t as widely understood as they are today.  Because of this awakening, it’s quite simple to find GMO-free products, primarily because they’re usually clearly labeled.  So luckily for you, it’s not difficult to make sure you are getting GMO-free items before you head to the check-out aisle.  You just need to remember to look for them because you’d be surprised at how many products they are in now! 

Switch Your Coffee 

Love coffee? Make the switch to organic. Regular coffee is chemically treated, and since it penetrates the beans, you’re brewing up a pesticide-laden beverage for yourself that can take a toll on your health over time.  Since coffee is typically consumed daily by coffee drinkers, it’s worth the extra money to invest in organic coffee. I have found this one to have a wide variety of health benefits. 

So yes, going organic everywhere is best for your benefit, but especially important for your kids and those of us with autoimmune disease and/or other chronic conditions. If money is a factor, consider choosing organic items for your kids, for those with autoimmune disease and/or other chronic conditions, and produce from the EWG’s Dirty Dozen list first. Then, start adding in other areas as you can. You can also try shopping for produce at your local farmer’s market or joining a co-op where everyone pitches in for fresh organic produce from local farms. Companies also offer ways to grow your own produce, both through traditional gardens and through in-home growing systems like this one

Overall, there are options that don’t have to cost a fortune, so check them out and find what works best for you and your family. Also, give yourself grace if you can’t make a ton of changes all at once. As long as you are working on shifting or transitioning one small change or step at a time (and even if you’re not at times), you’re still doing an excellent job! 

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