Sunday, April 05, 2009

Organic or Not?

Clients and friends often ask me about organic produce. Is it really important to buy everything organic, particularly when most of it is more expensive than its conventional counterparts?

The Environmental Working Group has the answer for us. The organization compiled a list of produce most affected by pesticides, fruits and vegetables for which buying organic is best, and a list of produce least affected, for which buying conventional is probably okay.

Buy Organic – the most pesticides

- Peach
- Apple
- Bell pepper
- Celery
- Nectarine
- Strawberries
- Cherries
- Kale
- Lettuce
- Imported Grapes
- Carrot
- Pear

Buy Conventional – the least amount of pesticides

- Onion
- Avocado
- Sweet Corn
- Pineapple
- Mango
- Asparagus
- Sweet Peas
- Kiwi
- Cabbage
- Eggplant
- Papaya
- Watermelon
- Broccoli
- Tomato
- Sweet Potato

One exception I would make is when shopping at the local farmer’s market. Small farmers frequently practice organic methods without going through the long process of becoming organic-certified. So your local apples or lettuce may be safe without actually being labeled organic. When in doubt, ask your farmer.

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