When to Buy Organic Fruits & Veggies (And When Not To!)
Start writing a post
Health and Wellness

When to Buy Organic Fruits & Veggies (And When Not To!)

When it comes to pesticides, all fruits and vegetables are not equal. When is it worth buying organic?

10
When to Buy Organic Fruits & Veggies (And When Not To!)

"Going organic" is all the rage these days, but it isn't cheap! The benefits of eating organic food are clear, but sometimes organic stuff costs twice as much, which is cost-prohibitive for a lot of grocery budgets. So the question is … is buying organic worth it? The short answer: in some cases yes and others no. Let's explore when to buy organic and when you can probably skip it.

First up, my go-to source whenever I'm wondering "Should I buy organic?" is The Environmental Working Group (EWG).

Every year the EWG publishes a list of the most pesticide-ridden fruits and vegetables. According to their website:

"EWG publishes its annual rating of conventional foods with the most and least pesticide residues to fill the void left by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which has largely failed to tell Americans they have a right to know about the risks of pesticide exposure and ways they can reduce pesticides in their diets."

Fruits & Veggies With the MOST Pesticides:

Here are the most contaminated fruits and vegetables according to the EWG:

  • apples
  • strawberries
  • grapes
  • celery
  • peaches
  • spinach
  • peppers
  • nectarines
  • cucumbers
  • cherry tomatoes
  • snap peas
  • potatoes

Each of these foods had high concentrations of pesticides compared to other produce items. A few things to note:

All imported nectarines and 99 percent of apples tested positive for at least one pesticide residue.

Potatoes had more pesticides by weight than any other food.

A single grape sample contained 15 pesticides.

Single samples of celery, cherry tomatoes, imported snap peas, and strawberries showed 13 different pesticides apiece.

Leafy greens like kale and collard greens as well as hot peppers were not on the Dirty Dozen list but were found to have insecticides that are toxic to the human nervous system. EWG recommends that people who eat a lot of these foods buy organic instead.

Fruits & Veggies With the LEAST Pesticides:

The "Clean Fifteen" is a list of the produce with the least amount of pesticide residues and includes:

  • avocados
  • sweet corn
  • pineapples
  • cabbage
  • frozen sweet peas
  • onions
  • asparagus
  • mangoes
  • papayas
  • kiwis
  • eggplant
  • grapefruit
  • cantaloupe
  • cauliflower
  • sweet potatoes.

Avocados were the cleanest: only 1 percent had pesticides. Also, 89 percent of pineapples, 82 percent of kiwi, 80 percent of papayas, 88 percent of mango, and 61 percent of cantaloupe had no residues. Pretty sweet!

When to Buy Organic: 

Harriet Tubman was once quoted as saying, "we out!" and I feel the same when passing these fruits and vegetables in the grocery store. So, I recommend buying organic if your budget allows it. Here are the 20 most contaminated foods.

  1. Apples
  2. Strawberries
  3. Grapes
  4. Celery
  5. Peaches
  6. Spinach
  7. Sweet Bell Peppers
  8. Nectarines (imported)
  9. Cucumbers
  10. Cherry tomatoes
  11. Snap peas (imported)
  12. Potatoes
  13. Hot peppers
  14. Blueberries
  15. Lettuce
  16. Kale/collard greens
  17. Plums
  18. Cherries
  19. Nectarines (domestic)
  20. Pears

Lord (or ceiling cat?) have mercy! Because wellness programs like WW and Noom list these on their "green" food list, you'd assume they are really healthy, right!?

When to NOT Buy Organic:

Generally speaking, the thicker a fruit or vegetable's skin, the less you have to worry about pesticides tainting it. Here are the EWG's "Clean 15":

  1. Avocados
  2. Sweet corn (note: most corn is genetically modified so I still buy organic when possible)
  3. Pineapple
  4. Cabbage
  5. Sweet peas (frozen)
  6. Onion
  7. Asparagus
  8. Mangoes
  9. Papaya
  10. Kiwi
  11. Eggplant
  12. Grapefruit
  13. Cantaloupe
  14. Cauliflower
  15. Sweet Potatoes

Hope this helps you make smarter decisions in the grocery store!

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Featured

Panic! At The Disco Announces Breakup After 19 Years

Band Makes Breakup Announcement Official: 'Will Be No More'

3252
panic at the disco

It's the end of an era. Originally formed in 2004 by friends in Las Vegas, Panic! At The Disco is no more.

Brendon Urie announced on Instagram that the band will be coming to an end after the upcoming Europe tour. He said that he and his wife are expecting a baby, and the life change weighed heavily in his mind to come to this decision. "Sometimes a journey must end for a new one to begin," he said.

Keep Reading... Show less
Content Inspiration

Top 3 Response Articles of This Week

Odyssey's response writer community is growing- read what our new writers have to say!

7238
https://www.pexels.com/photo/person-writing-on-white-book-1043514/
https://www.pexels.com/photo/person-typing-on-type...

Each week, more response writers are joining the Odyssey community. We're excited to spotlight their voices on as they engage in constructive dialogue with our community. Here are the top three response articles of last week:

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

To Mom

There are days when you just need your mom

18659
To Mom

There really is no way to prepare yourself for the loss of someone. Imagine that someone being the one who carried you for 9th months in their belly, taught you how to walk, fought with you about little things that only a mother and daughter relationship could understand. You can have a countless number of father figures in your life, but really as my mom always said, " you only get one mom."

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

The Way People In Society are Dating is Why I Don't Date

I need someone to show that they want me for me, not that they're using me to chase the idea of being in a relationship.

20693
The Way People In Society are Dating is Why I Don't Date
rawpixel

You hear your phone go off. He's asking you to hang out. Then, of course, you get the advice of your friends to decipher this text. Is it just hanging out or is it more than hanging out? You've probably done this at least once in your life or at least seen a tweet where someone posted their screenshots with a potential love interest.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

Winter Break As Told By 'Friends'

Is a month at home too much to handle?

13187

If you're anything like me, winter break is a much-needed light at the end of the tunnel after a long, stressful semester. Working hard for 15 weeks can really take a toll on a person mentally, physically AND emotionally. It's a nice change of pace to be back at home with your family and friends, but after a couple weeks, it can get, well... boring.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments