Organic Fruits and Vegetables – When Organic is Worth the Price

A list of the fruits and vegetables that consumers should buy organically, based on results of the US Department of Agriculture Pesticide Testing Program.

Most consumers are savvy enough to know that organic produce is the best choice. Unfortunately, putting that knowledge to use in the produce aisle can prove costly. So how can a consumer know when buying organic is really worth the price? This simple list will help shoppers to stretch their organic dollar and alleviate some of the confusion when making organic vs. non-organic choices.

Top 12 Fruits and Vegetables That Should be Bought Organic

The term “Dirty Dozen” is a catch phrase that is popping up on sites like The Daily Green and CNN. The Environmental Working Group, a non-profit whose mission is to use the power of public information to protect public health and the environment, coined this phrase. The E.W.G. created the term “Dirty Dozen” in reference to a list of the 12 fruits and vegetables that contain the highest levels of pesticides based on research provided by the The US Department of Agriculture Pesticide Testing Program. The US Department of Agriculture posted the following statement on their website in regards to their Pesticide Testing Program:

“The Pesticide Data Program (PDP) is a national pesticide residue database program. Through cooperation with State agriculture departments and other Federal agencies, PDP manages the collection, analysis, data entry, and reporting of pesticide residues on agricultural commodities in the U.S. food supply, with an emphasis on those commodities highly consumed by infants and children.”

Washing Fruits and Vegetables

Many consumers are under the false impression that pesticides can be completely washed off of fruit and vegetables. The fact is, a small amount of pesticide reside may be removed from the skin of produce, but the majority of pesticides are found inside of the fruit or vegetables and can not be removed. As a standard practice, the produce tested for pesticide contamination was thoroughly washed before testing. Here is what the Environmental Working Group’s Amy Rosenthal had to say:

“The list is based on pesticide tests conducted after the produce was washed with USDA high-power pressure water system. The numbers reflect the closest thing to what consumers are buying at the store.”

The following is the official list of offenders:

celery
peaches
strawberries
apples
blueberries
nectarines
bell peppers
spinach
kale
cherries
potatoes
grapes

A list of the fruits and vegetables with the lowest levels of pesticides was recently published on the ABC News website. The following is the list of the 15 fruits and vegetables that consumers can purchase non-organically:

onion
avocado
corn
pineapple
mango
asparagus
peas
kiwi
cabbage
eggplant
papaya
watermelon
broccoli
tomato
sweet potato

Buying Organic Only When Necessary Can Save Money

Armed with this information, shoppers will have an easier time navigating the produce aisle and making wise choices in regards to organic fruits and vegetables.

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