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Consumer Reports: Eating organic on a budget

Organic produce

We all know that opting for organic food can be a healthy choice for us individually as well as for the planet. Organic food can also be more expensive than conventionally produced food. But you don’t have to break the bank to eat organic. Consumer Reports has some easy ways to save on organic food.

One great money saving tip is to look for store brand organics. For example, buying an organic apple sauce from Whole Foods is about half the price of a name-brand organic apple sauce.

Check prices carefully, organic can sometimes be cheaper. For instance, 2 pounds of organic hummus at Costco is almost a dollar less than a non-organic brand there.

If going completely organic is putting too big a dent in your budget, know that for some fruits and vegetables conventionally grown is comparable in terms of pesticide risk to organic. One example: avocados. Consumer Reports has previously found non-organic avocados from Mexico, Chile and Peru have a low pesticide risk. The same with conventionally grown U.S. broccoli.

But other produce like strawberries have a higher pesticide risk so buying the pricier, organic ones is worth considering. Organic carrots, bell peppers, sweet potatoes and green beans are also worth the extra money.

And do check out frozen organic veggies. Compare their prices to fresh and you could be pleasantly surprised.

Can washing your produce help with pesticide risk? It can’t guarantee that you’ll get rid of all pesticide residues, though a good scrubbing can get rid of some. Keep in mind, though, some produce absorbs the pesticides -- and those can’t be washed away.

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