How to Buy Organic Food

Organic food is food that is made using natural methods. Pesticides, chemical fertilizers, and other unnatural substances are not used in its production. Eating organic foods eliminates the consumer's exposure to the potentially harmful man-made substances that are found in non-organic foods. The following explains how to buy organic food.


  1. Image titled Buy Organic Food Step 1
    Visit a food retailer that sells organic food.
    • Farmers' markets and grocery stores tend to carry organic foods.
    • There is typically signage that indicates that a food or section of foods is organic.
    • A 2002 study by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) showed that 40 percent of farmers do not charge a premium for organic foods. If price is of the essence, you are likely to find a better deal at a farmers' market than a grocery store.
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    Know which foods are best to purchase in organic form.
    • Certain foods that are produced using conventional means pose a greater health threat than others.
    • Meats, poultry, eggs, dairy, apples, apricots, bell peppers, celery, cherries, peaches, pears, potatoes, red raspberries, spinach, and strawberries contain significant levels of pesticides and/or other artificial substances even after they are washed. It is best to buy such foods in organic form whenever possible.
    • Broccoli, cauliflower, mangoes, sweet corn, and sweet peas rarely have significant pesticide residue left over after they are washed. Such foods should not pose a significantly greater health threat in their conventional form than in their organic form.
    • Organic seafood is generally not worth buying if it is more expensive if you are in the United States, as seafood that is labeled as organic in the US may still contain mercury. If you are outside of the US, check with your country's appropriate regulatory body for information as to the quality of organic seafood in your country.
  3. Image titled Buy Organic Food Step 3
    Purchase the foods that you eat the most.
    • Organic foods tend to be more expensive than conventional foods.
    • If you are on a budget and cannot afford to exclusively buy organic foods, start out by buying those that you eat the most.
    • Gradually increase the amount of organic food that you buy as your budget allows.
  4. Image titled Buy Organic Food Step 4
    Purchase foods that are in season.
    • Foods that are produced in your area during the time that you are shopping tend to be cheaper than they would be during the rest of the year due to their abundant supply.
    • Such foods will be fresher than they would be if they were imported from a different area while they are out of season.
  5. Image titled Buy Organic Food Step 5
    Visit several food retailers.
    • If the first retailer you visit does not have prices that are friendly to your budget, visit other retailers. There is often a wide price-range in organic foods among retailers in the same area.
  6. Image titled Buy Organic Food Step 6
    Purchase organic foods on the Internet.
    • If you'd prefer to shop from home, organic foods can be purchased on the Internet and shipped to you.
    • Perform an Internet search for online retailers that sell the food you are looking for. Confirm with them that the food is organic if it is not clear.


  • Each country has different rules for organic labeling. Check with the appropriate regulatory body in your country for details.
  • In the United States, "all natural" does not mean that a food is organic. To be labeled as organic, a food must be certified as so by the USDA. Organic certification means that the product is made of at least 95 percent organic ingredients.

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Categories: Food Selection and Storage