Many people are buying organic foods to reduce their exposure to antibiotics, growth hormones, conventional pesticides and fertilizers. But given the 50% premium you’ll often pay—as much as 100% for milk and meat—which organic goods are worth it? The February 2006 issue of Consumer Reports magazine provides these guidelines:

Buy whenever possible: organic apples, baby food, bell peppers, celery, cherries, dairy, eggs, imported grapes, meat, nectarines, peaches, pears, poultry, potatoes, red raspberries, spinach and strawberries.

Good, but less essential: organic asparagus, avocados, bananas, bread, broccoli, cauliflower, cereals, sweet corn, kiwi, mangoes, oils, onions, papaya, pasta, pineapples, potato chips and packaged products like dried fruit.

Not worth it: organic seafood (the USDA has yet to set standards). Cut costs by comparison shopping, buying locally grown foods and ordering by mail. Check out for packaged natural foods and for organic dairy products.