Environmental Working Group’s Guide to Organic Produce
I’ll admit I am terrible at buying organic produce. I regularly forget to go to the farmer’s market when it’s open and I don’t like shopping at Whole Foods because that’s where I talk myself into buying weird things like freeze-dried okra or a brick of soft cheese from a country I’ve never heard of and a box of broccoli crackers. Although that will probably change once a location finally opens in downtown Detroit. Okra party!
I guess I’ve always thought of organic as “go big or go home,” and that if I’m going to do it, I gotta legit commit. I can’t just buy organic oranges and say forget it for everything else. Totally smart mindset, right? No, not really. Also, I think too much about food and grocery shopping and wish there was a way I could just make food come out of the ground for free and then eat it. Oh, wait…
Anyway, I never know where to start when it comes to organic. That’s where the Environmental Working Group (EWG) comes in handy. The image above is part of a handy guide on the EWG website, making it easy to determine what foods should be purchased organic and what are still safe to eat when grown conventionally. While buying all organic is certainly more environmentally sound, it can also get expensive, which is why I love this. It makes it easy to pick and choose if you can’t or don’t want to go all out.
The photo on the left is the “Dirty Dozen,” or the 12 foods with the most pesticides on them when conventionally grown. The photo on the right is the “Clean Fifteen,” or those with the least amount of pesticides. The site even has a neato little PDF you can print out and bring to you with the grocery store to help you remember what’s worth the extra attention.
You can see the list of the dirtiest offenders and cleanest foods in the photos above, and here are a few key points to remember from the study:
- The most contaminated fruits include apples, domestic blueberries, grapes, imported nectarines, peaches, and strawberries.
- The most contaminated veggies are bell peppers, celery, cucumbers, lettuce, potatoes, and spinach.
- Every single imported nectarine tested positive for pesticides, 98 percent of apples tested positive, and 96 percent of imported plums tested positive.
- Bell peppers had the residue of 88 different pesticides. Cucumbers had 81 and lettuce had 78.
- No fruit or veggie on the “Clean Fifteen” list had more than 5 pesticides detected.
- Less than 10 percent of pineapples had pesticide residue.
- 98 percent or more of avocado, sweet corn, and onions were pesticide free.
You can find more information about the dangers of pesticides, pesticides in baby food, and the testing methods used on their website.
Do you shop organic? If so, do you pick and choose between produce or go all out?July 10, 2012
This entry was posted in Food and tagged clean fifteen, dirty dozen, environmental working group, ewg, organic food, organic produce, what to buy organic.