Wise Buy: A Guide to Buying Organic Produce
I’m a big proponent of organic food. I believe there are too many toxins in our food, water and environment, and I know that buying organic foods is one way I can ensure that my family is getting the healthful nutrition they need, without all the so-called “safe” pesticides, herbicides, and other synthetic chemicals.
I know that various United States and international government agencies and independent researchers have documented links between exposure to many of these questionable chemicals and a number of adverse health outcomes, including increased risks of certain types of cancer, brain and neurological toxicity, hormone disruption, and skin, eye, and lung irritation. I also know that not only are farm workers at risk from exposure to these chemicals; we consumers are too, when we ingest pesticide residues lurking on and in our fruits and vegetables.
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is a non-profit consumer watchdog organization that publishes a list of the top fruits and vegetables to buy organic, due to their high concentrations of pesticide residue. EWG also publishes a list of other conventionally-grown foods that are usually safe to buy, due to negligible levels of pesticides. EWG conducts objective testing of numerous items available to American consumers. Produce may be grown here or abroad; the only issue is safety. You can download EWG’s annual Dirty Dozen™ and Clean Fifteen™ lists at www.ewg.org. Consider sending a donation if you wish to support this worthy work.
Here’s an example of this year’s produce to buy organic, due to concerns about pesticide residues in or on conventionally grown versions:
Sweet bell peppers
For god measure, this year’s list also includes kale/collard greens and hot peppers.
These foods are the most likely to be problematic, so you’ll get the most bang for the buck when you’re trying to decide where to spend your hard-earned dollars on organic produce.
The Environmental Working Group website. EWG’s 2015 Dirty Dozen page. Retrieved Feb. 27, 2015 from: www.ewg.org.