1. When starting out, focus on organic alternatives to the foods your family eats most.
2. Try to add one new organic item to your cart each week.
3. Learn to read the USDA organic labels:
- 100% organic – may carry the USDA Organic seal
- Organic – at least 95% of the content by weight is organic, excluding added water and salt – may carry the USDA Organic seal
- Made with organic – at least 70% of the content is organic. The front panel may display this phrase followed by up to three ingredients.
- When less than 70% organic, a product may list those ingredients as organic only on the ingredient panel, with no mention on the main panel.
4. Minimize your family’s exposure to persistent organic pollutants (POPs) by purchasing organic alternatives to the top 10 foods (listed alphabetically) found most likely to be contaminated with POPs: butter, cantaloupe, cucumbers/pickles, meatloaf, peanuts, popcorn, radishes, spinach, summer squash, winter squash. (Source: Pesticide Action Network North America)
5. Know which fruits and vegetables are the best choices for your family. Government tests show that red raspberries, strawberries, apples and peaches grown in the United States and cantaloupe from Mexico are the foods most contaminated with pesticides. (Source: Environmental Working Group)
6. Look for organic foods wherever you shop.
7. If you don’t find the organic foods you’re looking for, ask. Many store managers are happy to make special orders for their customers or can help you find an alternative to meet your needs.