The U.S. Department of Agriculture found that even after washing, some fruits and vegetables consistently carry much higher levels of pesticide residue than others. The Environmental Working Group developed the list of the “dirty dozen” fruits and vegetables. They say you should always buy organic when possible because their conventionally grown counterparts are likely to be loaded with pesticides. But remember the benefits of conventional produce outweigh any risks! So eat your fruits and vegetables no matter how they’re grown. Also, visit the farmer’s market and ask how your local foods are grown, some farmer’s can’t afford the organic certification but use minimal pesticides. Here are the Cleanest 12 which generally do NOT contain pesticide residue.
According to the 2017 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce, the dirty dozen, plus two more are as follows:
|Dirty Dozen Plus TM Buy these organic||Clean 15 Lowest in Pesticides TM per EWG.org|
|Sweet Bell Peppers||Papayas|
|Snap Peas -Imported||Grapefruit|
credit: Environmental Working Group – https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/list.php
Other organic foods worth considering:
These foods do not contain hormones or added antibiotics. Antibiotics have been related to increased antibacterial resistance in humans.
Seafood: There are no USDA organic certification standards for seafood; producers are allowed to make their own organic claims.
Baby food is made up of condensed fruits and vegetables, and therefore the pesticides can be more concentrated. Don’t want to pay the high price for organic baby food? Make your own out of organic fruits and veggies.
Does organic food cost more?
On average, organic foods cost 50% more than regular food. The production of organic foods is more labor intensive and supplies are limited.
Tips on how to save money when buying organic food:
How to protect yourself from “non-organic” pesticides:
Does organic food have a higher nutrient content?
No. The nutrient level in food is determined by factors such as plant variety, soil quality, climate, how it is harvested and stored.
Are organic snack foods any healthier?
Not necessarily. While organic chips, crackers, cookies and ice cream (try fruit whip in place of ice cream) are free of unhealthy trans-fat, many are just as sugary and salty as their non-organic counterparts.
Genetically modified foods:
Organic foods are not genetically modified. Sweet Corn, papaya, and summer squash sold in the U.S. are produced from Genetically Engineered (GE) seed stock. If you’re concerned about GMO purchase organic crops to avoid GE produce.
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