HomeHealthArchivesSep 2008

 

 

A Dozen Foods You Don't Need to Buy Organic

Within the scientific community there is a growing concern that even small doses of pesticides and chemicals can affect people adversely. It is of particular concern during the period of fetal development and childhood which will have long lasting effects. Since the effects of these pesticides and chemicals are not completely understood or in some cases not even studied and scientists are worried about the fallout, shoppers should use wisdom in their purchases to minimize exposure to these substances.

The Environmental Working Group(EWG) has run simulations that show that consumers can lower their exposure to pesticides close to 90 percent by avoiding the top tweve most pesticide contaminated fruits and vegetables.  Eating the most contaminated will expose a person on average to about fourteen pesticides a day. By eating the twelve least contaminated will expose a person to less than two pesticides a day.

The data used to determine the exposure to pesticides and contaminants takes into consideration how people usually prepare their produce(for example, apples are washed while bananas are peeled).  Washing and peeling do reduce the levels of some pesticides but doesn't eliminate them.  Peeling reduces exposure to pesticides but valuable nutrients often go into the garbage can or down the garbage disposal. The best choice is to eat a varied diet, wash all produce, and eat organic wherever possible.

One thing that can be done to save on the cost of organic produce is to the buy regular produce with the smallest pesticide load.  So here is the least of the items you buy non-organic from the safest on down:

    Onions
    Avocado
    Sweet Corn(frozen)
    Pineapples
    Mango
    Sweet Peas(frozen)
    Asparagus
    Kiwi
    Bananas
    Cabbage
    Broccoli
    Eggplant
     

Just for balance, here is the twelve fruits and vegetables that you should always buy organically from the worst:

    Peaches
    Apples
    Sweet Bell Peppers
    Celery
    Nectarines
    Strawberries
    Cherries
    Lettuce
    Grapes(imported)
    Pears
    Spinach
    Potatoes