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The Cheapest Store to Buy Organic Groceries

Whole Foods should be afraid...very, very afraid.

Think you need to drop a ton of cash to eat a chemical-free, organic diet? Think again. Aldi, one of the world's biggest—and cheapest—food retailers, recently announced their plans to sell more organic superfoods. But that's not all: In an effort to remain on-trend and attract more health-savvy customers, the grocery chain is also adding more gluten-free offerings to their shelves and removing antibiotics, growth hormones, partially hydrogenated oils, artificial ingredients, and MSG (an additive that's been known to increase appetite) from all of their private-label products. Um…WOW!

Aldi's groceries—both fresh and packaged—are about 30 percent lower in price than Walmart's, which means their new health-focused offerings could give Whole Foods' lower-cost chain, 365 By Whole Foods Market, a real run for its money once it launches later this year. But take that lower sticker price with a grain of salt. When retailers and producers are able to sell their organic produce for less, it's often because they're growing their conventional crops close to their organic fruits and veggies. So, while the blueberries you throw into your weekly smoothies may say that they're pesticide free, that may not exactly be the case. Why not? When nearby crops are sprayed with pesticides, organic crops often get covered in the stuff, too, thanks to something called pesticide spray drift. This occurs when pesticides drift away from their intended target, hence the name.

It's well known that Aldi is able to keep their costs down by displaying foods in their shipping cartons and requiring customers to bring their own shopping bags, but it may be worth doing a little research to see if pesticide drift is affecting any of the foods you buy at Aldi or elsewhere. If that's the case, it's all the more important to wash your organic produce thoroughly. For even more grocery store hacks to keep your family safe and healthy for life, check out these 50 Best Supermarket Shopping Tips Ever!

Dana Leigh Smith
Dana has written for Women's Health, Prevention, Reader's Digest, and countless other publications. Read more about Dana Leigh