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Eat Organic without Busting the Bank

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a blog by Cindy Bailey of the Fertile Kitchen®, July 21, 2010

If you’re making the transition to an all-organic diet to optimize your health and prepare your body for a baby, that’s great! In the process, however, you’ve probably noticed that eating organic, and healthier in general, costs more, about 30 percent more according to one source.

I feel it’s imperative to eat organic while TTC. You don’t want those pesticides, growth hormones and chemicals in your body disrupting your hormones and potentially your health. How can you eat organic without busting the bank, though? Here are some ideas.

When it comes to produce, some conventionally grown versions are safer than others. If you must skimp on organic produce here and there to save money, or you simply can’t find the organic versions in your local market, just know that the following list of produce is the least likely to test positive for pesticides. The Environmental Working Group calls these the Clean Fifteen™, and they include:

    • onions
    • sweet corn
    • sweet peas (note, though: these include a natural contraceptive)
    • asparagus
    • cabbage
    • eggplant
    • sweet potatoes
    • avocados
    • pineapples
    • mangoes
    • kiwi
    • cantaloupe
    • watermelon
    • grapefruit
    • honeydew

Another source also includes broccoli and papaya as “clean” foods.
On the opposite end of the spectrum are their Dirty Dozen™ (although there’s more than 12 on this list). Definitely buy these organic! And all other produce.

    • peaches
    • strawberries
    • apples
    • blueberries
    • nectarines
    • cherries
    • grapes
    • celery
    • sweet bell peppers
    • spinach
    • kale
    • collard greens
    • potatoes
    • cucumber

Another source also implicated pears and carrots. Also, if you eat meat, definitely eat that organic and lean. The same goes for dairy. There are growth hormones and antibiotics in there, among other negatives to encouraging conception. For all other food, such as rice for example, just buy organic.
Other tips:

    • Buy organic produce in season, when it’s typically less expensive. You can then freeze bulk quantities for the winter when they’re out of season. You might even be able to get a deal on buying in bulk from a farmer at your local farmer’s market. Never hurts to ask.
    • Consider joining a local food co-op that sells organic foods at a discount to members. Here’s a directory listing of them.
    • Look out for coupons, either given out at your local health food store or retailer, offered right on the product, or from manufacturers of organic products. At Mambo Sprouts' site, you can sign up to receive coupons by mail for a number of organic products, for example.
    • Buy items such as grains, pasta, raisins, nuts in bulk. It’s usually cheaper if you don’t have to pay for the packaging.
    • Make more funds available for organic foods by spending less on unhealthy options. Cut out that Starbuck’s Grande Latte you’ve been drinking every day, for example. Not only is coffee or milk not good for you while trying to conceive, but at $3.35 a day, that’s almost $104 per month you could be spending on organic food.

For even more tips on saving while eating organic, check out this article at

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