Friday, November 14, 2008

Things I Buy Organic and Why: Part One

The "Dirty Dozen" Fruits and Vegetables

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. Based on an analysis of more than 100,000 U.S. government pesticide test results, researchers at the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a research and advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C., have developed the “dirty dozen” fruits and vegetables, below, that they say you should always buy organic, if possible, because their conventionally grown counterparts tend to be laden with pesticides. They cost about 50 percent more — but are well worth the money.

  • Apples
  • Cherries
  • Grapes (imported)
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Bell peppers (I've seen these for as much as three times cost! You can bet they'll be in my garden for this very reason.)
  • Celery
  • Potatoes
  • Spinach

Buying organic doesn't make much of a difference with fruits and veggies whose skins we don't eat.
  • Bananas
  • Kiwi
  • Mangos
  • Papaya
  • Pineapples
  • Avocado
  • Corn
  • Onions
  • Peas
Here are some other veggies that don't consistently contain a high amount of pesticides:
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Asparagus
So there you have it. No need to break the bank. Just pick and choose where you go organic.