Although I am a huge proponent of organic local food, sometimes it's just not in the budget so here are some important things to keep in mind:
1) Learn the clean 15 and the dirty dozen fruits and veggies (some fruits and veggies are less likely to contain large amounts of pesticides and chemicals, while others are so chemical filled you're better off not eating them unless you can get organic). I posted the list here, please note, corn is listed on the clean 15 list but typically non organic corn is Genetically Modified (GMO) and I would personally avoid it.
2) Buy locally sourced produce/meat whenever possible (it's fresher and supports your local community). Visit farmers markets (often you can get fresher produce at a much lower cost than in the big block grocery stores). This gives you the opportunity to make friends with a local farmer, trust me...this has its perks!
3) Always wash your produce thoroughly! Here's an easy and chemical free way to clean your produce (if you do this with berries, it keeps them from molding and they usually last an extra couple weeks!)
- Fill sink with water
- Add 1 cup of vinegar & stir
- Add produce & soak for 10 minutes or so
- Drain water, run some fresh water over them then lay out on a clean towel to dry
4) Grow your own! Yes yes...let the excuses commence...no green thumb, plants come to my house to die, I have no space. Well, settle down there Pacino it's easier than you think! There are many plants that easily grow in pots, and they don't take up a lot of space and as long as you remember to water them they're pretty hardy. Try strawberries (berries are on the dirty dozen list and worth growing yourself), or cherry tomatoes which are hardy and sooooooo delicious! There are other benefits as well, if you have kids this is a fun way to get them involved in caring for a plant and getting them excited about their food. Check out this link for some plants that do well in containers and some DIY ideas: http://www.diyncrafts.com/7137/food/35-easiest-container-pot-friendly-fruits-vegetables-herbs
Good luck my friends!