We want to eat as much organic as is possible and responsible, but can't afford to buy everything we want organic and don't have any room for a garden. We've had a CSA in the past but knew we'd be moving in the middle of the summer so couldn't pick one with a convenient location. But, the farmers' markets are great for local, pesticide-free veggies, and I've been learning which items to spend the extra money on at the grocery store.
Every once in a while I've seen this list of which fruits and veggies to buy organic, because they're often very high in pesticides, and which ones aren't as important to buy organic--generally because they have protective skins or are in some other way more defensive against the chemical sprays. I was reminded of the list in our local paper the Oregonian not long ago, and clipped it out--this one's from the Environmental Working Group. (It was in an article about the apparent controversy over the testing methods, USDA vs. EWG about the number of each item tested, etc.--I'm not too concerned about the exact science, but if they found general patterns, that's good enough for me.)
Anyway, it's super interesting to note and keep in mind. I'm happy that pineapples, mangoes, cabbage, grapefruit, and mushrooms are among the lowest in pesticides. And it totally makes sense that apples, bell peppers, cucumbers, and kale are on the dirty list--I can taste the difference in those organic vs. sprayed! Ick! Unfortunately I eat all of those a lot. Luckily organic kale is pretty cheap at the nicer grocery stores, even when it's not on sale. (I've mentioned before my limited diet--fruits and veggies make up the majority of what I eat!)
So here's the EWG's 2012 Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce--the Dirty Dozen (plus 2), buy organic if you can. The Clean 15 are safer so it's more okay to buy the conventional. Always helps to have priorities!
What about you? Any tips on where to buy organic groceries, or which ones are easy to grow? I'd love to grow my own in the new house, or just get used to buying farmers' markets in the summer!