Organic Fruit Buying Guide

Garden peppers
Garden peppers

As organic farmers, we decided to create an organic fruit-buying guide. With over 33 years of experience passionately growing our farm organically and maintaining a yearly kitchen garden, we hold our produce to the highest standards.

However, there are always a few items we can’t grow ourselves, which means venturing into the supermarket aisles. During a recent trip to Costco, I marveled at the store’s vastness and the challenge of picking the best organic fruits. I wrote this guide to help you confidently navigate your next shopping trip, ensuring you select the freshest and highest-quality organic fruits.

Why Choose Organic?

Why choose organic in our organic fruit buying guide.
Organic breakfast in a jar

Organic fruits are grown without synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, and genetically modified organisms (GMOs). They are often richer in nutrients and free from harmful chemicals, making them a healthier, tastier choice for you and your family. Additionally, organic farming practices promote environmental sustainability by maintaining soil health and reducing pollution. Buying organic can support local and small-scale farmers like us who keep the land in agriculture instead of home developments. Organic farming helps promote a more resilient and diverse agricultural system. We are a small farm, and we do not have “certified organic” farms in Mexico.”

Tips for Selecting the Freshest Organic Fruits

Our Organic Certificate
Our organic certificate 2023
  1. Check for Certification: Ensure the fruits have a certified organic seal, such as the USDA Organic label. The seal guarantees that the produce meets stringent organic farming standards.
  2. Local vs. Imported: Whenever possible, choose locally grown organic fruits. They are typically fresher and have a smaller carbon footprint than imported fruits.
  3. Inspect the Appearance: Look for fruits that are vibrant in color and free from blemishes or mold. Organic fruits may not be as uniformly shaped or large as conventionally grown fruits, but they should still look fresh and appealing.
  4. Feel the Texture: Gently press the fruit to check for firmness. Avoid fruits that are overly soft or have mushy spots, as these are signs of over-ripeness or spoilage.
  5. Smell the Fruit: Fresh organic fruits often have a pleasant, natural aroma. It may not be at its best if the fruit lacks a scent or smells off.
  6. Buy in Season: Seasonal fruits are often fresher, tastier, and more affordable. Familiarize yourself with the seasonal produce calendar to know when different fruits peak. We are approaching strawberry, cherry, and blueberry season at Chelan Ranch! Check online for availability.

Consumer Reports Findings on Imported Fruits

Avoid imported food is part of our organic fruit buying guide
Our packaging information is certified organic & grown in WA.

According to a recent article, Produce Without Pesticides, by Consumer Reports, some imported organic fruits, particularly from Mexico, have shown residue issues that make them less safe for consumption. The report highlighted that fruits from certain regions did not meet the same rigorous standards as those enforced in the United States, leading to potential contamination with pesticides and other chemicals. We saw a bag of USDA-certified organic mangoes distributed by Amazon Produce Network, LLC, in Vineland, New Jersey. Still, on the back of the tag, it said produce of Mexico. The fruit looked great, but I don’t trust the organic label on mangoes from Mexico. We saw a bag of USDA-certified organic asparagus distributed by Gourmet Trading Co. Redondo Beach, CA, but the bag of asparagus didn’t say where the asparagus came from. We looked at the cardboard box holding the smaller bags, which said produce of Washington. Now, I’ll trust the organic label on asparagus from anywhere in the United States.

Organic Fruit Buying Guide

Organic Fruit Buying Guide begins at the Farm Store
On-farm store
  1. Farm-to-Consumer Direct Sales: We offer our fruit directly from our farm to your doorstep. Visit our website. 
  2. Visit Farmers’ Markets: Farmers’ markets are excellent places to find fresh, locally grown organic fruits. Look for their organic certificate to prove they are certified. You can often speak directly with the growers and learn more about their farming practices.
  3. Join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture): Subscribing to a CSA program can provide regular deliveries of fresh, seasonal organic fruits straight from local farms.
  4. Grow Your Own: If you have the space, consider growing organic berries, apricots, and peaches. Homegrown ensures the highest freshness and quality while also being a rewarding hobby. Since the pests for apples and cherries potentially devastate commercial growers, we suggest backyard growers buy that fruit from the commercial growers.
  5. Use Apps and Guides: Various apps and online guides can help you locate stores and markets that sell high-quality organic produce. They can also provide tips on selecting the best fruits.

Organic Fruit Strategies

Chelan Ranch Organic at Farmers Market
Chelan Ranch Organics at the Farmers Market in Chelan

Choosing organic fruits is intelligent and healthy but requires knowledge and attention to detail. Following the tips in this guide, you can confidently navigate the supermarket aisles and select the freshest and highest-quality organic fruits available. Stay informed about the sources of your produce and prefer local and seasonal options whenever possible. With these strategies, you’ll enjoy delicious, nutritious, and safe organic fruits all year round.

For more detailed information and to stay updated on the latest findings about organic produce, visit the Consumer Reports article.

By incorporating these practical tips into your shopping routine, you’ll become adept at choosing the best organic fruits, supporting sustainable farming practices, and ensuring the health and well-being of your family. Happy shopping!