If you are already buying organic, you’re not alone. About 8 in 10 households currently buy at least some certified organic products—mostly produce and dairy. For most, the primary reason to buy organic is to avoid exposure to chemical pesticide residues, as well as reap the nutritional benefits to certain organic foods. A 2014 analysis of multiple studies by the British Journal of Nutrition, for instance, concluded that organic crops contained higher antioxidant levels than their non-organic counterparts.
It’s a message that’s getting through to both consumers and merchants alike. Since 2012, more than 90 percent of retailers have increased the number of organic foods they sell. However, organic farmland only accounts for 1% of total worldwide farmland, and organic farms tend to produce less than conventional farms. This is one of the reasons organic produce is often more expensive than non-organic.
And, yet, vegetables are one of the most recommended foods to buy organic. Why? Rinsing conventional produce doesn’t effectively reduce all pesticide residues. Organic produce isn’t treated with synthetic fertilizers or most synthetic pesticides as a matter of course. Buying organic produce can help avoid long-term exposure to such residues.
If you’re on a budget, you can still buy organic and get more bang for your shopping dollars healthwise by splurging on organic vegetables. Here are our top three favorite, budget-friendly organic vegetables that pack a healthy nutritional punch: