The Top 12 Foods to Buy Organic – Meet the Dirty Dozen
Did you know that nearly two-thirds of the 3,015 produce samples tested by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2013 contained pesticide residues? This is a surprising fact considering the rapid increase in consumer demand for food without agricultural chemicals.
In efforts to help educate shoppers, each year the Environmental Working Group (EWG) releases its report on pesticides in produce along with a list of foods that we should aim to buy organic – enter the Dirty Dozen. The EWG looks into the Department of Agriculture data surrounding pesticide residue and ranks foods based on how much or little they have. The EWG estimates that people can reduce their exposure by about 80% if they switch to organic when buying these foods. Now that makes spending a few extra dollars at the grocery store a bit more compelling, doesn’t it?
This year, apples, peaches, nectarines, strawberries, grapes, celery, spinach, sweet bell peppers, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, imported snap peas and potatoes ranked the highest for pesticide residue. The average potato had more pesticides by weight than any other produce. Between 97-98% of apples, peaches and nectarines tested positive for at least one pesticide residue, while a single grape or sweet bell pepper sample contained up 15 pesticides.
In general, it’s good to get smart on what we put in our bodies so we can be the best, most healthy version of ourselves. Organic section, here we come!
Read the EWG’s 2015 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce here.
Skip right to the Dirty Dozen list here.
Not surprisingly, pesticide residue is also found in apple juice and apple sauce, making all apple products smart foods to buy organic. Can’t find organic apples?