There is an often held belief that good quailty produce is too expensive or at the very least more expensive than eating lower quality fruits and vegetables. This belief doesn’t hold true when you really do your homework. There may be fruits and vegetables that are more readily available or that are more familiar to us in our households but trying new fruits and vegetables can be a great way to keep food from being boring.
First, let us put the organic obsession to bed. While I believe in supporting good farming and growing practices, organic does not always equal better food quality or better environmental impact. A great example would be onions. Onions are consistenly a low pesticide exposed food item. Onions are also grown locally in my area. For me, I rather support my local grower and buy non-organic than buy organic onions shipped from several hundreds of miles away (11 hours by my estimate). So we need to make choices on how to spend our food dollars. The benefits of eating fruits and vegetables exist even when consuming conventionally grown produce.
If you want specific numbers on how much exporsure you may have based on your level of intake (or your goal intake) check out the Pesticide Residue Calculator located at http://safefruitsandveggies.com/pesticide-calculator. I love apples. So I entered my consumer group (woman), then apples and viola. I could consume 850 servings of apples in one day without any effect even if the apples have the highest level of pesticide residue recorded for apples by the USDA. That is comforting news since I could not eat that many apples even if I tried.
I like to pick up a variety of produce. It still takes some thought for me to not overpurchase fresh produce. I pick produce that will work in my smoothies or juices. Frozen produce is of great quality and contributes to less food waste. Following seasonal produce guides are a great way to introduce more variety into my meal plan.
Keep a small bowl of fresh fruit in your high traffic area such as the kitchen, dining room table, or family room. This can help promote healthful snacking.