A healthy diet should include ample servings of fruits and vegetables, but unless you’re careful about where you buy your produce from, those fruits and veggies likely include a heaping side of pesticide residue. Pesticide-based agriculture affects many along the way, from the farm workers who grow and harvest the produce to the consumer who eats it.
Although organic food can be costly, the budget-conscious consumer shouldn’t worry. The Environmental Working Group estimates that we can reduce our exposure to pesticides by 80 percent if we simply know which foods typically have the highest pesticide residue and therefore should be bought organic.
Dirty Dozen: Foods to Buy Organic
6. nectarines, imported
7. grapes, imported
8. sweet bell peppers
10. blueberries, domestic
12. kale collard greens
According to the EWG, 98 percent of conventional apples contain pesticides. Photo By emilyonasunday/Courtesy Flickr.
Clean 15: Okay to Buy Non-Organic
2. sweet corn
6. sweet peas
9. cantaloupe, domestic
13. sweet potatoes
For more information on pesticides and produce, check out the "EWG's 2011 Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce."