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Which foods should we buy only organic, and which foods can be non-organic?

The following fruits and vegetables have the highest pesticide levels, so it is best to buy organic:
  • Apples

  • Sweet Bell Peppers

  • Cucumbers

  • Celery

  • Potatoes

  • Grapes

  • Cherry Tomatoes

  • Kale/Collard Greens

  • Summer Squash

  • Nectarines (imported)

  • Peaches

  • Spinach

  • Strawberries

  • Hot Peppers

Fruits and vegetables you DON’T need to buy organic:

The following fruits and vegetables are known as the “Clean 15” these conventionally-grown fruits and vegetables are generally low in pesticides:

  • Asparagus

  • Avocado

  • Mushrooms

  • Cabbage

  • Sweet Corn

  • Eggplant

  • Kiwi

  • Mango

  • Onion

  • Papaya

  • Pineapple

  • Sweet Peas (frozen)

  • Sweet Potatoes

  • Grapefruit

  • Cantaloupe

Buy organic meat, eggs, and dairy if you can afford to

Industrially-raised animals may be fed corn, grains, antibiotics, animal by-products, growth hormones, pesticides, and sewage sludge. These practices can have health consequences for both the animals themselves and people consuming their meat, eggs, or milk.

If you can afford to pay the higher prices, look for beef and dairy products labeled “pasture-raised” or “100% grass-fed.” For pork, chicken, or eggs, look for a “certified organic” label. You may find that buying cheaper cuts of meat from organically raised animals enables you to eat organic without breaking your food budget. Try buying organic chicken thighs instead of conventionally raised chicken breasts, for example.


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