At one time organic foods in the U.S. were limited to produce available at farmers’ markets and natural food stores. Today though, the list includes fruits, vegetables, grain, dairy products, eggs, beef, soy and even wine. There are currently no organic standards for fish. At least 95% of the ingredients in the food must be organic to use the “USDA Organic” seal. The USDA ‘s national standards define “organic” as those foods that are produced without the use of most conventional pesticides and without synthetic fertilizers. Typically however, organic food can be more expensive than conventionally grown food.

Dr. Andrew Weil, founder, professor and director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona, and an advocate for organic eating says there is good news when it comes to choosing conventionally grown food. He calls the following list “The Clean Fifteen” – onions, sweet corn, pineapples, avocado, cabbage, sweet peas, asparagus, mangoes, eggplant, kiwi, domestic cantaloupe, sweet potatoes, grapefruit, watermelon and mushrooms. He cautions you should still wash the food well before eating.

Weil also has a list of foods he feels you should consider buying in the organic section of your store. This list includes apples, celery, sweet bell peppers, strawberries, imported nectarines, grapes, spinach, lettuce, cucumbers, domestic blueberries and potatoes.

Organic food prices tend to be highest at supermarkets, but are usually much less at food co-ops and farmers’ markets. With spring approaching, you may want to think about growing some of your own organic lettuce, cucumbers, etc………. Dr. Andrew Weil’s Guide to Healthy Eating Part 1  2012

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