Which fruits and vegetables are best to buy organically is a question asked of me often. In our house, we buy organic if there is any fruit or vegetable the kids tend to consume inordinate amounts. I also rely on the information compiled and presented by an organization called The Environmental Working Group (EWG) www.ewg.org. EWG is a not for profit organization who uses the power of public information to protect the public’s health and the environment. Based on information they have collected, they have compiled a list of fruits and vegetables and their related pesticide load scores. This information can be used in making the decision whether or not to buy organic. Highlighted below is some information on various produce and why you should consider buying organic. By referring to the information provided on the EWG website, you will be better informed when picking your produce!
Fruits and Vegetables you may want to buy organic:
Peaches: Consumer Reports have indicated that single servings of peaches “consistently exceeded” EPA’s safe daily limit for a 44-pound child.
Apples: Fresh apples and baby food applesauce can contain chlorpyrifos, an organophosphate which has caused large bird kills.
Nectarines: In recent testing, nectarines have been found to contain at least 8 different pesticides.
Strawberries: Strawberries can be subject to the fungicide captan, a probable human carcinogen that can irritate skin and eyes.
Sweet Bell Peppers: Testing ranked sweet bell peppers as the vegetable with the most pesticides found in a single sample.
Celery: Had the highest likelihood of having multiple pesticides in a single sample.
Imported Grapes: Contain methyl parathion and methomyl, a carbamate insecticide listed as an endocrine disruptor. Grown under different regulations and guidelines, there pesticide residue levels frequently exceeded acceptable levels set by our government.
On the other end of the spectrum are fruits and vegetables which have been found to have lower pesticide loads. Some examples are: onions, avocados, pineapple and mango and asparagus (for a detailed list please refer to ewg.org). Information is power.