If you’re concerned about the pesticides in the fruits and vegetables you eat, you’re not alone. According to a survey of 1,050 people done by Consumer Reports, 85 percent of Americans have concerns about the pesticides in their produce. Many still aren’t sure if those worries are justified, especially considering the cost of buying organic produce averages around 49 percent more than standard produce. But is saving a little money in the short term really the best decision when it could put your health in jeopardy?

With studies that show that exposure to pesticides may be a contributing to factor to health issues like food allergies, Parkinson’s, ADHD and autism, the concern is justifiable.

The FDA’s sampling of nearly 6,000 foods discovered that fruits and vegetables are most frequently contaminated with pesticide residues, with 82 percent of domestic fruits and 62 percent of domestic vegetables containing these potentially harmful chemicals.

All that means that there’s a very good reason to go organic, considering the many different pesticides that are probably in your produce if you don’t. Those pesticides can attack your health in multiple ways including Cancer, Infertility, Birth Defects, Diabetes, Obesity and can include negative effects to your immune & nervous system.

It may be time to think about how you control the pests in your garden. There are organic controls available and really no need to use a lot of chemicals.

Organic Pest Control

  • Bug Killer Dust (replaces Rotenone)   Controls insects on all vegetables & flowers.
  • Pyrethrin  Derived from the Chrysanthemum plant. Suitable for indoors and outdoors.
  • Insect Stop  Diatomaceous earth – 100 natural dust that is safe around you and your pets!
  • End All Liquid   Direct on contact control that can be used right up to day of harvest.
  • BTK   Contains Bacillus Thuringiensis, a bacterium that kills all types of caterpillars. Very popular organic control. Safe for animals and people.

While there are organic alternatives for pest control, it may be wiser to “feed your soil”. Healthier plants have proven to have a better resistance to disease and pests. Some of the organic solutions that you can try:

Organic Fertilizers & Soil Amendments

  • Turkey Trot  Will build up your soil, making it better each year, providing vital micro-nutrients to everything you grow.
  • Wormgold  Want your seeds and seedlings to explode with exceptional growth?
  • Fusion Liquid or Fusion Powder  Contains natural elements such as live micro-organisms, digestive enzymes that help to rejuvenate all type of soils that show a lack of natural elements.
  • Alfalfa Gold   A specially formulated blend of Alfalfa Meal, Humic Acid, Worm Gold Plus and Bone Meal that conditions and improve soil organically! 
  • Fish Agra  Use both as a foliar feed and at planting on the seed. Deodorized!
  • Organic Rage  Corrects many nutrient deficiency symptoms quickly and revives struggling indoor and outdoor plants fast!
  • Sky Rocket Soil Enhancer  Helps to balance the soil so plants can be healthier and happier and grow with less disease and insect problems.
  • Super Spud Fertilizer  Combines important nutrients for even setting and tuber development of uniform potatoes.
  • Seaweed   Punches up the quality of all plants and makes other fertilizers work better.

Other Affordable Ways Go Organic

While it’s true that most organic foods cost a little more, they generally bring a better value, in terms of providing more health benefits, and they often taste better too. At the same time, if you’re on a budget, it can be tough coming up with that extra cash. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to save money while going organic. By taking advantage of these tips, you might just find that going organic is a lot easier than you imagined.

Buy local. Buying local can be significantly cheaper than food shipped from miles away, and it also helps to contribute to the betterment of your community and area farmers. Visit a farmers market and talk to local farmers about their practices. They may not have organic certification, which helps to keep their prices lower, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they use pesticides or other potentially harmful substances.

Grow your own. You don’t have to own a farm or acres of land to grow your own food. Many fruits and vegetables can be grown in containers or in hanging pots right on your patio. You might plant an herb pot in your kitchen so that you always have fresh herbs on hand for cooking, as organic herbs tend to be some of the priciest items at the grocery store.

Search for coupons and other discounts. Many organic food companies offer printable coupons on their websites. If you have a few favorite brands, consider joining the company’s social media page to stay updated on special sales and discounts.

Foods with the most pesticide residues:

Strawberries – One-third of all conventional strawberry samples contained 10 or more pesticides.
Spinach – 97 percent of conventional spinach samples contained pesticide residues.
Sweet Bell Peppers – Almost 90 percent of conventional sweet bell pepper samples contained pesticide residues.
Potatoes – Conventional potatoes had more pesticide residues by weight than any other crop.
Celery – More than 95 percent of conventional celery samples tested positive for pesticides.
Tomatoes – Nearly four pesticides were detected on the average conventionally grown tomato.
Pears – More than half of conventionally grown pears tested had residues of five or more pesticides.
Cherries – 30 percent of cherry samples contained iprodione, a pesticide not allowed in Europe, which may cause cancer.
Grapes – More than 96 percent of conventional grapes test positive for pesticide residues.
Apples – 80 percent of apples tested contained diphenylamine, a pesticide banned in Europe.

Foods with the least amount of pesticide residues

Cauliflower – About half of all conventionally grown cauliflower samples contained no detectable pesticide residues.
Broccoli – 70 percent of broccoli samples had no detectable pesticide residues.
Honeydew Melons – About half of all conventionally grown honeydew melons had no detectable pesticide residues.
Eggplants – About three-fourths of all conventional eggplants tested contained no pesticide residues.
Onions – Less than 10 percent of conventional onion samples contained any pesticide residues.
Cabbage – Only two of more than 700 cabbage samples contained more than one pesticide residue.
Asparagus – No more than three pesticides were detected on any conventional asparagus sample.

A full list can be found at ewg.org/foodnews

Prepared with information from Susan Patterson from Tropical Health post Pesticides Are Probably In Your Produce – Why You Should Go Organicand  ewg.org/foodnews