You’re standing in the grocery store between a pile of organic bell peppers and a pile of its non-organic counterpart. As you look back and forth between the two, you can’t see any difference besides the price tag. Which should you pick up? Whether or not you should buy organic is really a personal decision, and people choose to buy organic for many different reasons. But, if it’s pesticides you’re worried about, you may want to spend the extra money for organic products.
Every year the Environmental Working Group releases a report of the previous year’s most pesticide-contaminated food products called the “Dirty Dozen.” It’s important to remember that our government places restrictions on the amount of pesticide residue allowed on foods sold at your local grocery store, so the total amount of pesticides you ingest is actually quite small. Still, the potential long-term effect of pesticides on our health is a legitimate concern for many people. That’s where a list of the foods that are most likely to carry pesticide residue can come in handy. You can splurge on organic versions of the biggest offenders. Read on for a list of foods that typically earn a spot on the famed “Dirty Dozen” list.
Foods You Should Buy Organic
- Apples, peaches, strawberries, grapes, cherries, nectarines, blueberries and other fruits that can absorb pesticides through their skin or that cannot be peeled.
- Vegetables such as bell peppers, green beans, tomatoes and celery
- Leafy greens like lettuce, spinach, kale and collard greens
- Eggs. Consider purchasing organic eggs, but note that there is no difference between brown and white eggs besides the type of chicken from which the egg came.
- Coffee often makes the list of foods you should buy organic because most coffee beans are produced in countries where there are no regulations on pesticides and fertilizers.
- You might also consider buying organic wines and raisins because they are made from grapes, which may have pesticide residue.
Maybe you’ve heard of the “Dirty Dozen”, or you’ve seen similar lists before. But, did you know that it is okay to skip the pricier, organic versions of some fruits and vegetables? Some foods that don’t absorb as much pesticide or are peeled before eating are safe to eat, even when they aren’t farmed organically. Consider saving yourself a little money by purchasing the non-organic versions of these items:
- Sweet Corn
- Sweet Peas
- Cantaloupe (grown in USA)
- Sweet Potatoes
- Grape fruit