How to Know When to Buy Organic

I have spoken to so many people who are extremely confused when it comes to knowing which produce items should be purchased organic. There are many who don't even bother purchasing organic items, because of the confusion and the cost. I want to take some time to clear up any confusion in regards to this topic. There's an easy guide that's available for you to follow when it comes to deciding on which items should be purchased as organic and which items you can forgo doing so. If you visit www.ewg.org/foodnews/, you can get the  EWG's 2017 Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce. This guide gives a comprehensive list of the breakdown of amounts of pesticides in the fruits and vegetables that we are consuming. 

 

A good rule of thumb when it comes to knowing when to buy organic produce is as follows... If you are consuming the outer layer of a particular fruit or vegetable, you should purchase it organic. You will want to follow this practice because, if you are consuming the outer layer and the product is not organic, you're consuming all of the pesticides/chemicals that have been sprayed on this food. Examples are green leafy vegetables, apples and strawberries. The opposite also holds true, so if you are not consuming the outer layer of a particular fruit or vegetable, you don't have to purchase it organic. If you are not consuming the outer layer and the product is not organic, you're not consuming the pesticides/chemicals that have been sprayed on this food. Examples are melons, oranges and avocados. Now, there are some exceptions to these rules, but for the most part, this holds true. However, I suggest getting the full list at the link above. 

 

When you review the list, you will find that there is a Clean 15 list and a Dirty Dozen list. The Clean 15 list contains the top 15 fruits and vegetables with the lowest amounts of pesticide penetration and it is not necessary to purchase these items organic. The Dirty Dozen list contains the top 12 fruits and vegetables with the highest amounts of pesticide penetration and it is necessary to purchase these items organic. For ease of access I am listing both of the lists below.

 

The Clean 15

  1. Sweet Corn*

  2. Avocados

  3. Pineapples

  4. Cabbage

  5. Onions

  6. Sweet Peas (frozen)

  7. Papayas*

  8. Asparagus

  9. Mangos

  10. Eggplant

  11. Honeydew Melon

  12. Kiwi

  13. Cantaloupe

  14. Cauliflower

  15. Grapefruit

 

* A small amount of sweet corn, papaya and summer squash sold in the United States is produced from genetically modified seeds. Buy organic varieties of these crops if you want to avoid genetically modified produce.

 

The Dirty Dozen

  1. Strawberries

  2. Spinach

  3. Nectarines

  4. Apples

  5. Peaches

  6. Pears

  7. Cherries

  8. Grapes

  9. Celery

  10. Tomatoes

  11. Sweet Bell Peppers

  12. Potatoes

 

I hope this helps in clearing up the confusion when it comes to purchasing organic produce. I'd love to hear your feedback, so feel free to post your questions/comments on my Facebook Page. Here's to taking time to #PressHealthyButtons!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Shonté Press,

Certified Nutrition & Wellness Consultant, Author & Speaker

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