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15 Foods you Dont Need to Buy Organic


Buying organic, at times just seems unrealistic. The prices are outrageous and often times you have to make a special trip to a health food store on top of your weekly grocery store shopping. It all just seems exhausting.

To help prioritize your food dollars, heres the current list of the Clean 15 the best conventionally grown produce to buy, as determined by the Environmental Working Group.

Note: I do not recommend buying conventional Corn, Papaya or Peas even though the pesticide levels are extremely low they are likely to be GMO which I consider as bad, if not worse than high pesticide levels. So my recommendations would be for a list of Clean 12!

According to Environmental Working Group these are Clean Fifteen for 2013:

1. Onion

Onions dont see as many pest threats, which means less pesticide spraying.

2. Avocado

Avocados have thick skins that protect the fruit from pesticide build-up.

3. Sweet Corn

Sweet corn may take a lot of fertilizer to grow, but youre unlikely to end up with any pesticides on the kernels. But keep in mind most corn produced in America is Genetically Modified and GMO corn has been linked to infertility, tumors, and increase in food allergies so my suggestion is stick to organic when it comes to corn.

4. Pineapple

You wont be eating the tough pineapple skin, which protects the fruit from pesticide residue. As with all your produce, you should rinse the pineapple before cutting.

5. Mango

Sweet mango flesh is protected by its thick skin from pesticides. Still, youll want to rinse under water before cutting open.

6. Asparagus

Asparagus face fewer threats from pests such as insects or disease, so fewer pesticides need to be used.

7. Sweet Peas

Sweet peas are among the least likely vegetables to have pesticide residue because of their protective pod. Note that many of the peas on the market are GMO. Genetically modified peas are created by inserting kidney beans genes into the peas DNA and creating a protein that functions as a pesticide. Studies show that genetically modified peas can cause lower immune system in human beings. My recommendation is to buy peas organic.

8. Kiwi

Kiwi peel provides a barrier from pesticides. Give them a rinse before cutting.

9. Cabbage

Cabbage doest hold on to so many pesticides because a ton of spraying isnt required to grow it.

10. Eggplant

Maybe its the thick skin, but eggplants are among the least likely to be contaminated by pesticides.

11. Papaya

Pesticide residue stays on papaya skin, but be sure to give them a wash before slicing open. GMO papayas have been grown in Hawaii for consumption since 1999. Though they cant be sold to countries in the European Union, they are welcome with open arms in the U.S. and Canada. Its best to stick to organic with this one as well!

12. Mushroom

13. Canteloupe

With that rind, canteloupe has a natural defense against the onslaught of any chemical.

14. Grapefruit

15. Sweet Potato

Not only are sweet potatoes unlikely to be contaminated with pesticides, theyre also packed with Vitamin A and beta carotene.

Its not that the Clean 15 always contain no residue of fungicides or insect killers its just that the best choices often dont. Onions, asparagus, sweet corn, pineapple, mango and avocado had no detectable pesticide residues on at least 90 percent of produce sampled by the government, according toEWG. Most cabbage sampled (82 percent) had no detectible pesticides. Ditto for eggplant (75.4 percent). You can save money by buying the fruits and veggies on this list and putting your savings toward produce that is more important to purchase organically if you want to limit how much pesticide you inadvertently consume. Among other reasons, many pesticides disrupt male hormones, new research shows. If money is no object, go ahead and always buy organic. If customers are concerned about pesticides in general, EWG spokesman Alex Formuzis tells Consumer Ally, then they should buy organic for as many foods as possible.(1)

To this list, I would another caveat: When it comes to pesticide use, there is more to consider than just the residues that are ingested by the consumer. Although peeled foods such as mangoes, avocadoes and kiwis may spare the consumer from significant pesticide exposure, it is possible that large amounts of pesticides and herbicides are used on the farms from which these originate, contaminating groundwater, promoting erosion and otherwise damaging local ecosystems. To help promote the health of the planet as well as your own health, its best to buy organic whenever possible, including when you are purchasing the foods listed above. Although I understand that this is not always realistic for many folks money tends to be the deciding factor for lots of us. At least with more information we can make the best decision for ourselves, our families and the planet.