Ask Erika: Can Organic Be Inexpensive?


Dear Erika,

I just lost my job and trying to find places in my budget to trim back. I find organic foods to be super expensive. Any tips for shortcuts?
–Jeannine, Chicago, IL

Hi Jeannine,

If in doubt, buy organic. But, being on a budget can force one to make a decision on which organic foods are more priority. When you are in the produce department, an easy tip to remember is this: the thicker the skin, the harder it is for the pesticide to penetrate. So, apples, cherries, pears, grapes? Thin skin, probably should buy organic. Pineapple, oranges, bananas? Thicker skin—pesticides can still penetrate, but these are better to opt out of organic if necessary.

Also, remember—if it’s grown in the ground, buy organic. Pesticides really penetrate soil, and these foods also absorb all the chemicals in the ground. So, foods like carrots and potatoes should probably be purchased organic. Better yet, if possible, grow your own organic foods!! This is the best for your budget and the environment!



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Disclaimer: Erika Krebs is not a nutritionist, registered dietitian, nor medical doctor. The information on is based on each columnist’s own training, research through reading and talking with other like-minded individuals, and personal experiences eating plant-based, vegan, and raw foods. The material appearing on is provided for informational purposes only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Any or all changes to your diet and lifestyle should always first be discussed with your professional healthcare providers. assumes no responsibility or liability for any consequences resulting directly or indirectly from any action or inaction you take based on the information found on or material linked to on this website.

Posted in Advice Columns, Ask Erika

Erika is a best-selling cookbook author, food writer, lifestyle columnist, and a mom of three. She is the author of “Fresh Start: Farm to Table Plant Based Baby Recipes.” Erika is working on a new cookbook that focuses on fun, healthy, plant-based, toddler meals. Find out more about her work at Send Erika your questions at