A shopping list is great (if you stick to it) for:
– saving time and money, just head straight to the section and buy only the stuff you need,
– better meal planning,
– resisting impulse purchases of in-store promotional items that are unhealthy/useless/in excess at home,
– less food wastage from buying too much.
The fruits selection is the only food category that is somewhat unplanned in my household, and I usually see what’s on offer that day. EWG in US compiles an annually lists of Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen to educate shoppers which are the most pesticide contaminated produce. Wish I could find similar information here for the supplies in Singapore.
I still use the lists from EWG as a rough guide to decide when to buy organic produce (from the Dirty Dozen list), and when I can save money by buying non-organic ones (from the Clean Fifteen list). I am making a very huge assumption that farming techniques and technologies are similar around the world; i.e. if it is profitable to grow a crop with a particular pesticide or that much of pesticides, farmers in other parts of the world would also make the same commercial decision to raise that crop the same way.
Also, if the fruit comes with an outer peel, I don’t mind getting the non-organic version by removing the peel upon serving. Alternatively, scrub clean the produce properly with vinegar & water solution before cooking or eating. Though we know that pesticides cannot be 100 percent removable with these methods, we can try to reduce our exposure to them, keeping ourselves and our household balance sheet healthy at the same time.
The latest 2013 version was released in April, and I updated my simple shopping list template with a small corner dedicated to this piece information. Downloadable here.