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Buying organic produce on a budget: Tips for South Bay parents

Organic produce on sale at a farmer's market in Los Angeles
Organic produce on sale at a farmer's market in Los Angeles
Photo courtesy of Jim Winstead, Jr.

In an ideal world, everyone would buy organic produce: It's good for you and the environment, and buying organic produce can help sustain local farms. Unfortunately, the reality is that organic foods can be twice as expensive  -- or more -- than their non-organic counterparts. If you've got a family to feed on a budget, it can be difficult to go organic.

Luckily, there are budget-friendly ways to incorporate organic foods into your family's diet. The first step is to be smart about which foods you buy organic. Certain foods are especially likely to be laden with pesticides, additives and hormones -- those are the ones worth paying a higher price tag. Focus on buying organic versions of the foods in this list, taken from an article in The Daily Green:

  • Meats
  • Milk
  • Coffee
  • Fruits and vegetables with very thin skins (or that are usually eaten with skins on), such as peaches, apples, sweet bell pepper, celery, grapes and strawberries
  • Leafy greens
  • Carrots

You can bypass the organic section for fruits and vegetables with thicker skins or husks, such as avocado, watermelon, pineapple, corn, peas and mangoes. (For a more detailed list, read The Clean 15: Foods You Don't Have to Buy Organic.)

Once you have your shopping list, check out these local retailers, which are likely to carry organic produce for a relatively reasonable price:

Don't forget to check out the organic section at your supermarket. And, despite the old "Whole Paycheck" barb, Whole Foods, which has four South Bay locations, does sometimes have good markdowns (and you can't beat the selection).

This article is part of "A complete guide to making your own baby food."

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