by: Gabrielle Welch, Welch Wellness

There has been a lot of buzz over the past several years about eating organic, local and natural foods. There is definitely a lot of information out there, and as moms, sometimes it’s hard to sift through it all! With each passing year, we have more information, more choices and what feels like more confusion!

So the question is, “Who do we trust?”

Do we trust the labels that we read, or the marketers who design the packaging on the product? Do we trust something that says it’s healthy and has “natural flavors” when it has an expiration date of 2012?

Here are five quick pointers on what foods to buy organic and why from Welch Wellness! In a budget- minded world, we can’t all afford to run to Whole Foods and buy EVERYTHING there…and even if we could, how do we know what HAS to be organic?

In a fast- food world of fries with ketchup, apple juice, PB&J’s and Starbucks you won’t be surprised to know that those are the big ones you need to change.

Top 5 Foods to Buy Organic:

• Coffee: it’s highly pesticided and should be ALWAYS be bought organic (and filtered through a non-bleached filter. Most of the white ones have dioxins aka chlorine!)
• Apples & apple juice: same for apples and apple juice. Apples are one of the Dirty Dozen and also are the most consumed fruit for kids here in the U.S. Always buy organic apples and apple juice for your kids and yourself.
• Potatoes: give you a double whammy! Most potatoes here in the U.S. are genetically modified (GMO) unless they are organic, and are HIGHLY pesticided. Keep in mind that right now in the U.S., the law does not require for foods to be labeled GMO, so many of the most popular American foods are genetically modified, thanks to farm subsidies.
• Tomatoes: with such thin skins, are also highly susceptible to herbicides and pesticides…so ketchup should be organic at home, as should pico de gallo and hot sauce if you are making it from scratch.
• Peanut butter: peanuts are heavy with pesticides. Go for the organic peanut butter or another type of butter like cashew butter. The 365 brand at Whole Foods is great and also has less sugar (but still tastes great!)

So take it one step at a time….start integrating more whole, natural foods into your kids’ diets (and your own!) and then sit back and watch for the changes. You might be pleasantly surprised!