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Buying Healthy Foods Without Breaking the Bank


It is now common knowledge that more and more chemicals, pesticides, hormones, and antibiotics are making their way into foods. While it is recommended to eat organic produce whenever possible, it can get expensive and this is hard to do for many seniors who live on a budget.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) – a nonprofit organization made up of scientists, researchers and policymakers who are “dedicated to protecting human health and the environment – put together a list to help consumers shop healthy without breaking the bank.

The EWG listed 15 products, dubbed the “clean 15,” that are Ok to buy as non-organic. Most foods on this list have a protective outer shell or other protective surface that is not edible, so it is important to note that fruits and vegetables with a protective later typically have lower traces of harmful chemicals, as the outer layer serves as a shield for any pesticides that may have been used in the growth of the food.

The “clean 15” are as follows:



Sweet corn



Sweet pea








Sweet potato

Sweet onion

When you go to the grocery store or produce market to purchase produce, it is recommended that you thoroughly wash it prior to consuming it to remove any remaining pesticide residue.

EWG also published a list of goods that should most definitely be purchased in organic form. The fruits and vegetables on this list tested positive for over 47 different chemicals, many of which have been linked to various types of cancer. Unlike the fruits and vegetables listed in the “clean 15” list, the produce on this list does not have a protective layer to protect the fruit or vegetable from pesticides, which seep into the fruit and vegetable and cannot be washed off.

The list of produce that EWG recommends are purchased in organic form are:





Domestic blueberries


Sweet bell peppers

Spinach, kale and collard greens



Imported grapes


Although the level of pesticides is significantly reduced when a food is cooked, if you are able to purchase the ones with least protective layers in organic form, it is the most recommended route to take. Thankfully, along with the more mainstream knowledge of what chemicals are found in foods and the effects of the those chemicals, more and more markets and shops are beginning to offer organic foods at more affordable prices.