Love organic food but find buying it across your whole shop difficult on the purse strings? Here’s our guide to which everyday fruit and vegetables you should go organic for.
We all know there are benefits to buying organic food, but we also know it’s tricky to buy organic all the time. To help you prioritise which ones to go for, here’s our top five staple seasonal foods to add to your basket if your budget is tight.
‘Beans in a pod’ such as green beans and broad beans are a vegetable which have one of the higher levels of pesticide residues when not organic, and also if sourced from outside the EU.*
Our producer, farmer Rowie at Purton House Organics, explains the beauty of nature taking its own protective course when growing her broad beans:
‘I was weeding beside some early broad beans which had suffered from an infestation of aphids. I couldn’t believe the amount of ladybirds and ladybird larvae I saw. Ladybird larvae start feeding immediately and can consume up to 400 aphids a day and 200 when mature, so it made me confident of the fact that my next batch of broad beans will be kept aphid free and healthy! This is nature looking after itself, keeping things in balance.’
We all know how good proper tomatoes can taste, and it’s nothing comparable to what you get in the conventionally grown ones from the supermarket. Tomatoes are our grower Adrian’s favourite vegetable to grow at Wild Country Organics. Take one glance at his incredible rainbow of flavour-punching varieties and you’ll see why.
As a classic staple of the British diet, you can be guaranteed that organic potatoes are not exposed to artificial chemical fertilisers. Long live mash, roast spuds and, of course, the occasional chip!
This low-calorie, nutrient-packed green is lovely all on its own and perfect for injecting a bit of goodness to stir fries or the Sunday roast. When tested for pesticides together with spring greens in 2014, out of 55 samples, 36 contained residues of multiple pesticides.*
The quintessential British fruit, the apple is to Britain what bees are to farmers – where would we be without our hot crumbles in the depths of winter, and ice-cold ciders in the heights of summer? Whilst peeling their skins may reduce the residues of certain pesticides, some are systemic, which means they are found within the fruit (or vegetable). Most of the time you just want to grab an apple off a tree and bite straight into to it, right?
*You can find out more about pesticides on the Food Standards Agency’s website and in reports by the Defra (Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs) Expert Committee on Pesticide Residues in Food (PRiF).