While most of us agree that organic produce is healthier in general simply because it is grown without enormous amounts of pesticides, it's not always easy (or cheap) to buy organic. So what fruits and vegetables present the most danger, and where can you save your money?
The non-profit Environmental Working Group developed a list of 43 fruits and vegetables ranked from the dirtiest to the cleanest, based on the results of 43,000 tests for pesticides. Their data assumes typical washing and food preparation (including peeling). While they recommend going organic whenever possible, here's the short list to take with you on your next shopping trip. Complete information is available at http://www.foodnews.org and http://www.ewg.org
Always buy organic
Sweet Bell Peppers
Lowest in Pesticides
Sweet Corn (frozen)
Sweet Peas (frozen)
Ideal Bite adds the following foods to the "always buy organic" list: wheat, green beans and winter squash. Delicious Organics (deliciousorganics.com) also adds raspberries, grape products (raisins and juice), lemons (especially when zesting), cucumbers and lettuce.
"I'd rather pay the grocer than the doctor." So I remind myself when paying higher prices for organic vegetables.
- Brent Cox