organic foods
Fitness & Nutrition

The Best Foods to Buy Organic

By on 06/20/2018

If you have to pick and choose which types of organic produce to buy, it’s best to focus on fruits and vegetables that are known to contain the most pesticide residue when farmed conventionally. Each year, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) tests pesticide contamination on 47 popular fruits and vegetables. Then they produce two lists that show which produce has the most and the least amount of pesticides.

The Dirty DozenTM list includes the 12 crops with the most pesticides. Consider buying organic varieties of produce on this list. This year these include:

  1. Strawberries
  2. Spinach
  3. Nectarines
  4. Apples
  5. Grapes
  6. Peaches
  7. Cherries
  8. Pears
  9. Tomatoes
  10. Celery
  11. Potatoes
  12. Sweet bell peppers

The Clean 15TM list has the least amount of pesticide residue. The list includes:

  1. Avocados
  2. Sweet Corn
  3. Pineapples
  4. Cabbage
  5. Onions
  6. Sweet peas
  7. Papayas
  8. Asparagus
  9. Mangos
  10. Eggplant
  11. Honeydew Melon
  12. Kiwi
  13. Cantaloupe
  14. Cauliflower
  15. Broccoli

There’s a lot of debate over how harmful the side effects are from pesticides used on produce. If you’re concerned about pesticides, buy organic produce whenever possible, especially when eating foods on the Dirty Dozen list.

The best way to reduce or eliminate pesticide residue is to wash fresh fruits and vegetables under cold running water. Scientists recommend you rinse for a minimum of 30 seconds.  It should not be necessary, however, to use a commercial produce wash. Running water does the job just as effectively.


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Date Last Reviewed: April 19, 2018

Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor

Medical Review: Nora Minno, RD, CDN

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