First, let us clarify that organic does matter. In a four year $25 million EU study that ended in April 2009, the conclusions are as follows:
- Organic fruit and vegetables contain up to 40 percent more antioxidants
- Organic produce had higher levels of beneficial minerals like iron and zinc
- Milk from organic herds contained up to 90 percent more antioxidants
- Not all organic produce is local
- Not all local produce is organic
- Not all local or organic produce is necessarily more expensive
- Some produce that is not certified organic is still grown organically
Third, buy what you can afford. If you can buy local and certified organic, go for it! You'll be supporting a local farm that spent oodles of money on the certification process. But if you can't, or just want to get the most for your buck, find a local farmer that grows their fruits and veggies the same way they did 100 years ago but is not certified organic. You can also join a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) group and get fresh seasonal produce at a value price. Of course, you should at least adhere to the recommended list of foods worth buying organic.
Check out "Nutritional Superiority of Plant-Based Organic Food"
And as an afterthought, watch the trailer for Food, Inc., find the full version if you get a chance.