Organic and pesticide-free foods are not cheap. They can cost double the price of conventionally grown foods and can make you wonder if paying the price for fewer pesticides or better farming practices is worth it.

It’s hard to ignore the increased availability of organic food on the grocery shelves these days. Just walk into your local produce store to see that foods boasting the “organic” label are quickly taking over the shelves with bright marketing campaigns, pretty green logos, and fat price margins. So it’s fair to wonder if you get what you pay for considering the added premium for pesticide-free and organically grown foods. The answer isn’t simple. Sorry.

growing strawberries organic food

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has found that even after you vigorously wash certain fruits and vegetables, they still contain much higher levels of pesticide residue than others because they absorb and retain these chemicals. I’d love to know if using special produce cleansing soaps helps to remove these chemicals, but I’m no scientist and I doubt that an environmentally-friendly organic liquid soap can remove all pesticide residue.

So in some cases, if you’ve got some extra dollars in your pocket, it could make sense to opt for certain organic foods because their conventionally grown counterparts tend to be laden with pesticides, even after washing. Here are 12 fruits or vegetables worth buying to decrease your exposure to pesticides:

12 Organic Foods Worth Buying

  • Apples
  • Bell peppers
  • Celery
  • Cherries
  • Grapes
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Potatoes
  • Raspberries
  • Spinach
  • Strawberries

If you’re looking to save on your grocery bill, then consider passing on the organic versions of these 12 fruits and vegetables since they tend not to absorb or retain as many pesticide residues as other produce.

12 Organic Foods Not Worth Buying

  • Asparagus
  • Avocado
  • Bananas
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Corn
  • Kiwi
  • Mangoes
  • Onions
  • Papaya
  • Peas
  • Pineapples

Knowing when to splurge on organic food and when to save on conventionally grown produce is an excellent (and simple) shopping tactic for staying on budget at the grocery store (shopping with the Printable Grocery Shopping List helps too!) Generally, in some cases, paying double for certain organic foods may be worth the added cost if you’re looking to limit your exposure to pesticides. In my case I always try my best to buy what’s local, in season, and pesticide-free.

Are you an organic food shopper?