Organic aisles have popped up in almost every grocery store across the country. More people are making the switch as the evidence stacks up toward the benefits of consuming organic foods, which contain less pesticides and more nutrients. However, some foods have also shown little difference in pesticide content between organic and conventional growing methods.
So, when pitted against organic and conventional foods, which ones do we buy organic?
For your 2014 grocery shopping, keep an eye out for these organic foods that the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has listed as the top pesticide-treated products (47-67 pesticides per serving):
Foods to buy organic #1 - Apples
99% of apples that were sampled by the EWG tested positive for more than one pesticide. While washing and peeling apples may help you avoid a bulk of the pesticides, you also miss out on the nutrients imbedded in the skin. If you are considering buying apples, really consider organic.
Foods to buy organic #2 - Strawberries
Strawberries are a summertime favorite, but not after you know about the 60+ pesticides that stick to the speckled surface. According to a study from 2010, organic strawberries have a longer shelf life, more antioxidants and Vitamin C, and better overall quality. What’s not to love about that?
Foods to buy organic #3 - Grapes
There’s nothing sweeter or healthier than crisp grapes in a fruit salad or a handful of raisins in your trail mix. If you want to keep eating your low-calorie snack without a side of pesticide, opt for organic!
Foods to buy organic #4 - Celery
It’s low in calories, helps our digestive system, and is rich in antioxidants, Vitamin K… and unfortunately pesticides. In 2010, celery topped the chart in pesticide residue, but has since moved down the list. Because celery has a very porous structure, pesticides can easily seep into the stalk. Careful what you put into that vegetable soup!
Foods to buy organic #5 - Peaches (Imported)
There’s something exotic about the word “Imported,” but definitely not when it comes to ingesting chemicals meant to kill off insects. Peaches, like many orchard fruits are often sprayed with pesticides to ward off bugs and fungus. This is very common for peaches imported to the U.S.
Foods to buy organic #6 - Spinach
This super charged vegetable has everything you’d want to get out of a leafy green like calcium, iron, and protein, but it is also super loaded with pesticides before harvest time. Organic spinach will leave you with the healthiest of nutrients without harmful pesticide residue.
Foods to buy organic #7 - Sweet Bell Peppers
Are they a vegetable or a fruit? The debate over bell peppers persists, but the amount of pesticide residue is indisputable. Red, green, yellow, or orange, bell peppers come in all different colors, but all bell peppers are found to have several pesticides on their surface.
Foods to buy organic #8 - Nectarines (Imported)
Similar to peaches, imported nectarines have a slew of pesticides. Though washing the smooth skin may appear to help, you can bet that pesticide residue will still cling to the surface.
Foods to buy organic #9 - Cherry Tomatoes
Just like strawberries, going organic for cherry tomatoes holds some additional benefits. For example, several studies have revealed the promising perks to growing tomatoes organically such as boosts in antioxidants and Vitamin C.
Foods to buy organic #10 - Cucumbers
Conventional cucumbers are typically sold with a load of pesticide residue and wax to make it shine. If you can’t help but buy conventional cucumbers, remember to wash and peel the skin off!
Farmers markets are great locations to buy organic produce since most of the products are freshly harvested and are treated with less chemicals compared to wholesale farmers. When shopping at a retail market, make sure to keep an out for the USDA approved Organic seal!
Now that you know what foods to look out for, see what the pesticide-free movement is all about!