Are you feeling overwhelmed with the price of organic fruits and vegetables? In a perfect world it would be great to protect the environment (soil, air, and water pollution), protect our health, and protect the welfare of animals by eliminating the use of chemicals, pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, toxins, hormones, and antibiotics. However, a grocery cart full of organic fruits and vegetables is beyond many individual and families financial means; therefore, I have created a list to help make decisions a little easier at the grocery store.
Recommendations for organic fruits and vegetables:
Apples – pesticides are found on apples and washing does not necessarily help.
Apricots, nectarines, and peaches – highly likely to contain pesticide residue.
Beets – beets are thin-skinned and grow underground and can absorb pesticides and heavy metals.
Carrots – carrots are good at absorbing heavy metals from soil. They are also grown as a throw away crop, in order, to alleviate arsenic and lead from a field.
Bell Peppers & Hot peppers -multiple pesticide residues.
Celery – celery has no protective skin making it difficult to wash off all the chemicals.
Cherries – sprayed many times during their growth cycle therefore various pesticides and chemicals are used.
Collard greens, salad greens, Swiss Chard – leafy greens tend to have high chemical residues because they grow so close to the ground.
Cucumbers – organophosphate are used on conventionally grown cucumbers making them highly toxic.
Green beans – numerous pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides are used on green beans; they are also sprayed multiple times during their growth cycle.
Spinach – According to the FDA, 60% of nonorganic spinach contains pesticide residue, DDT, and permethrin. Nonorganic spinach contains significant amounts of pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides.
Almonds – Almond trees are sprayed with toxic herbicides and pesticides.
Peanuts – peanuts grow underground therefore are susceptible to absorb toxins from the soil.
Pecans – pecan trees are sprayed with numerous chemicals: pesticides, herbicides, and miticides.
Soy Foods – very toxic pesticides are used to grow conventional soybeans.
Strawberries – if purchased out of season, most likely imported from a country with little laws about pesticide use.
Raspberries – buy locally – likely to contain pesticide and fungicide residue.
Tomatoes – Always buy local tomatoes -okay to buy nonorganic if they are local.
Zucchini – although, zucchini does not tolerate pesticides and herbicides the pesticides used on this crop are known carcinogens.
Butter – pesticide residue loves fat…butter is all fat.
Eggs – buy local, organic, cage free, free roaming eggs -benefit: 1/3 less cholesterol, 1/4 less saturated fat, 2/3 more vitamin A, 2x more Omega 3 fatty acids, 3 x more vitamin E, 7 x more beta carotene.
Milk & yogurt – best to buy organic to avoid growth hormones and antibiotics.
Okay to buy Non-organic.
Asparagus – rarely treated with pesticides.
Avocados – thick skin -rinse before slicing.
Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, & Cauliflower – pesticides do not work well with these vegetables.
Cashews – where these are grown pesticides are rarely used.
Sweet Corn – although it may be sprayed with chemicals sweet corn almost never contains residue.
Eggplant – all varieties of eggplants are sprayed minimally therefore rarely contains pesticide residue.
Garlic – natural pest control.
Onions -same as garlic. Contains natural pest control and are rarely sprayed.
Rhubarb – The leaves of rhubarb are toxic therefore there is no need to spray.
Sweet potatoes – sweet potatoes do not like pesticides therefore rarely used.
Dried beans – sprayed with insecticide however beans are rinsed, soaked, and boiled therefore leaving very little residue.