Here at Sierra, we often get letters from readers who say they can't afford to eat organically. Fortunately, you don't have to buy organic versions of every single food item to make a difference for your health and the planet.
The Environmental Working Group in DC has done a great job figuring out which fruits and vegetables are most and least contaminated with pesticides—and they even offer their findings on a wallet-sized card that you can download. If you're on a tight budget, make sure you at least buy the most contaminated items organically.
Since all produce is not created equal when it comes to pesticides, eating a wide variety of foods can also help you reduce your exposure to dangerous chemicals. This is all especially important for kids, since their growing bodies are more susceptible to toxic exposures.
According to Mission Organic 2010, if everyone in the country increased their organic consumption to just 10 percent of their diet, it would restore more than 6 billion pounds of carbon to our soil, and eliminate more than 2 million pounds of antibiotics used in livestock and more than 2 billion barrels of imported oil annually, not to mention significantly cleaning up our drinking water. Who says little changes can't have a big impact?