The value of Organic foods is finally being recognized by the mainstream media. At long last they have begun to report on the risks associated with processed foods and the chemicals used to treat crops.
While the health benefits of organic fruits and vegetables is indisputable. Some consumers still can’t wrap their minds around the higher prices associated with organic foods.
While it’s beneficial to buy certain foods organic, not every grocery store purchase you make needs to be organic. Here are a list of the seven grocery store fruits and veggies its best to buy organic, followed by seven items that have been deemed safe to buy non-organic.
Foods to Always Buy Organic
- Leafy Greens
You should always buy organic leafy greens. The chemicals used to protect the lettuce when it grows are highly toxic. In fact, organophosphates, which are commonly used on leafy greens like collards and kale, are the most toxic classification of pesticides. This particular variety of pesticide was originally created for chemical warfare. Even a low level of organophosphate exposure can cause serious effects such as a lower IQ among children and changes in hormones.
When growing grapes, a large number of chemicals are used including 64 varieties of pesticides. In comparison to other fruits, the highest number of pesticides are used when growing grapes. Some of the insecticides used are neurotoxins to humans. Additionally, the chemicals may even be a cause of cancer. Myclobutanil has an effect on development and reproductive health.
Another example of a toxin in grapes is tebuconazole, which has the potential to cause cancer. In addition to purchasing organic grapes, you should always opt for organic wine as well because of the fungicides and insecticides used in the vineyards.
When you wake up with that morning cup of joe, you’re starting your morning out with chemicals that are linked to harmful effects. Coffee requires an area of open land to grow because it requires copious amounts of direct sunlight. Because the coffee beans are grown with direct sun exposure all day, the immunity of the crops decreases, making them more susceptible to insects. To combat the pests, growers use a large amount of pesticides. Organic growers combat insects through nontoxic means and also grow the coffee beans in shady conditions, keeping the immunity of the plants high and reducing the crop’s risk of insects.
This sweet citrus fruit is delicious for people to consume, and bugs like them just as much. Growers use a high amount of pesticides on nectarines for this reason. When the USDA tested nectarines for chemicals, they found that nectarines tested positive for a higher amount of pesticides by weight than any other food on the market.
- Bell Peppers
Bell peppers use 88 different pesticides. One single bell pepper tested positive for 15 different pesticide residues. The amount of pesticides found on that one pepper was higher than any other sample.
According to the Environmental Working Group, even after a person washes an apple, it still contains 48 types of pesticides. The pesticides absorb through the skin. Apparently, the saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” doesn’t hold true when you’re eating a conventionally grown apple.
Growers use a high amount of pesticides to combat insects because apples are highly susceptible to blights. Additionally, they’re prone to insect infestation as well. Plus, organically grown apples are higher in antioxidants than nonorganic apples.
Celery doesn’t have a protective skin. Therefore, celery absorbs more of the insecticides. The stock of the celery is very porous, which is another reason they retain pesticides.
Foods You Don’t Have to Buy Organic
Onions give many dishes you make flavor, and if you strictly buy organic onions, the price adds up. You can save money on your grocery bill by purchasing nonorganic onions. The amount of pesticide residue found on onions is significantly lower than many other foods grown using pesticides since fewer pests tend to consume onions than other vegetables.
Sweet corn is one food you don’t need to purchase organic because it has a lower amount of insecticide residue. Corn doesn’t require as many chemicals to keep pests from consuming the crops. You can purchase fresh or frozen corn, and you don’t have to worry about high chemical levels.
- Sweet Peas
When growers plant sweet pea plants, they don’t use a great deal of pesticides on the plants. The ones they use aren’t known to cause cancer or other serious complications. You may opt for frozen or fresh sweet peas and not consume a high amount of chemicals.
When tested this highly nutritious fruit was found to be the cleanest, meaning barely any avocados showed detectable levels of pesticide residue. This is great news considering the fact avocados are loaded with essential nutrients like folate, potassium, healthy fats and a host of vitamins.
This is another fruit that tested low on the pesticide scale. In fact 89% of the pineapples tested had no residue at all. Pineapples are loaded with Vitamin C and an enzyme called bromelain which helps our bodies break down food and reduce inflammation. Want to save time? Pineapples are one of the few fruits where it’s just as healthy to buy pre-cut, frozen. Just make sure its unsweetened.
We’ve talked about so many fruits today, it wouldn’t be fair to leave out the veggies! Mushrooms are another food safe to buy non-organic. They are one of the least pesticide ridden veggies tested. When buying mushrooms look for packages with darker colors—the darker the color, the more flavorful the mushroom.
Asparagus is another veggie that tested low in the pesticides. And thank goodness because this nutrition powerhouse is packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Preparing this food is super simple too. Simply trim the spears off, drizzle it in olive oil, sprinkle it with salt and pepper and cook it at a high temperature for just 10 minutes and you’ve got a healthy and flavorful side dish for any meal.
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