Wednesday, March 21st, 2018

Top 15 Fruits and Vegetables to Buy Organic and WHY

Published on February 20, 2009 by   ·   10 Comments Pin It

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We all know that eating organic produce takes chemicals (some seriously dangerous suckers) out of your diet and keeps all the delicious, healthful vitamins and goodies in.    Organic produce is more nutritious, not genetically modified, tastes better, and is much better for the environment – it’s an easy sell.  Pesticides cause cancer, damage to your nervous system, and reproductive effects.   One may say it’s not worth the risk to go conventional at all! Ideally we would all eat everything exclusively organically, but not all of us can afford to go entirely organic.   There are a few items you can get away with eating conventionally.   Thicker skins that hide the goodness from the chemicals like bananas and grapefruit are usually safe.   The vegetables and fruits least likely to have pesticides on them in numerous studies have been onions, sweet corn, asparagus, sweet peas, cabbage, broccoli, eggplant, avocados, pineapples, mangoes, kiwi, and bananas.   HOWEVER; Make sure to eat these items below ONLY organically.

Top 15 Fruits and Vegetables to Buy Organic and WHY


  1. Peaches: Non-organic peaches contain carcinogen iprodione, methyl parathion, an endocrine disruptor, and organophosphate insecticide. Methyl parathion kills bees and birds. According to Consumer Reports, single servings of peaches “consistently exceeded” EPA’s safe daily limit for a   child.
  2. Apples: Non-organic apples contain methyl parathion and chlorpyrifos.   Chances are, if you can’t pronounce it, you shouldn’t be putting it into your (or your families) bod.
  3. Pears: Come nosh ready with methyl parathion, as well as the OP azinphos-methyl, which is fatally toxic to freshwater fish, amphibians and bees.
  4. Winter Squash: Dieldrin, a chlorinated, carcinogenic insecticide and heptachlor showed up in conventional squash analyzed in labs.
  5. Green Beans: According to the Green Guide; “Green Beans can contain acephate, methamidophos and dimethoate (three neurotoxic OPs), and endosulfan, an endocrine-disrupting insecticide, which showed up in baby food, too. Acephate disorients migrating birds, throwing them off course.”
  6. Grapes: Contain methyl parathion and methomyl, a carbamate (an insecticide listed as an endocrine disruptor) and imported grapes contain dimethoate. Consider drinking only organic wine which is sulfite-free (so your hang over will be ten times lighter) and much tastier!
  7. Strawberries: The fake red color of non-organic strawberries comes from the fungicide captan, a   human carcinogen that also is highly toxic to fish.   The lethal soil fumigant methyl bromide has harmed California farm workers, and depletes the ozone layer.
  8. Raspberries: Contain captan, iprodione and carbaryl, a suspected endocrine disruptor that has also been found in baby food. Only feed your baby organic baby food.   That is an expense worth taking on.
  9. Potatoes: Contain dieldrin and methamidophos, and aldicarb. Yum.
  10. Tomatoes: High in chlorpyrifos and numerous other pesticide residues.
  11. Cantaloupe: High in chlorpyrifos and numerous other pesticide residues.
  12. Cherries: 91.4% of all non-organic cherries tested had toxic, incredibly high levels of pesticides.
  13. Celery: High in carcinogenic pesticides when eaten non-organically.
  14. Peppers: Sweet bell peppers was the vegetable with the most pesticides detected on a single sample (11 found on one sample), followed by celery and lettuce (both with nine).
  15. ALL Leafy Greens: Permethrin and dimethoate and DDT have been found on leafy greens.
Who knew (conventionally) that these could be dangerous for you?

Who knew (conventionally) that these could be dangerous for you?

Click here to download this guide in a handy lil format (to bring with you when you shop or to keep in your wallet).   We believe that one day organic produce will be the same price as conventional, but til then, prioritize your groceries.   Buy in bulk (when possible), join a CSA, and relish in the joy of a Whole Foods.   Make a choice to cut out some things that you don’t necessarily need for what you truly do (non toxic food!).

Can you cut out that weekly manicure, extra taxi, morning latte, splurge purchase, or third martini to make sure your body is chock full of precious vitamins?   We think you can!

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Readers Comments (10)

  1. Perfect timing — I’m on way to the market this morning. Thanks for this interesting post!

  2. Rock on Chloe, this is a great list. Not only does organic produce have fewer pesticides, it has more nutrition! New research shows they may also contain higher concentrations of antioxidants which ward off cancer and heart disease. Apparently, “the health benefits were so striking that moving to organic food was the equivalent of eating an extra portion of fruit and vegetables every day.” POW! I think it’s also worth mentioning, organic just tastes better. Remember tomatoes that tasted like – well, tomatoes?

  3. Krista says:

    Very interesting thanks for posting.

  4. Ari says:

    Absolutely! Organic is the only way to go. And don’t give me shit that it’s more expensive. It’s your health bitches. There’s nothing more important than the food you put in your body. Spend the extra buck and thrive instead of poisoning your body with toxic chemicals.

  5. Melody says:

    I am going food shopping tomorrow, thanks lady.

  6. Gnewvegan says:

    This is a great post. Very informative in a nice compact way. Thanks..

  7. Great posting chloe! A little tidbit that helps differentiate organic and conventional products at the grocery…Fruit and veggies with produce codes beginning with a “9” are organic, and produce with codes beginning with a “4” or “3” are conventional. Sometimes produce ends up in the wrong bins so it’s a fool-proof way to know what you’re getting. Happy shopping!

  8. Corinna says:

    This is so helpful, thanks! I always wondered what veggies and fruits I could get away with buying conventional. Organic is best, but when the options are limited this is good to know.

  9. Terri says:

    Great information, thank you!

  10. cj says:

    A healthy lifestyle is key to happiness, but the new organic-food-is-better movement might very well be a bogus, untested religion. But I do like fruits and veggies, and I avoid the intake of obvious addictive poisons like cigarettes, caffeine or alcohol. But asparagus, artichokes, and beets are so yummy.

    See the research below:

    Researchers studied five different crops — carrots, kale, mature peas, apples and potatoes — which were cultivated both organically (without pesticides) and conventionally (with the use of pesticides) and found that there was no higher level of trace elements in the food grown organically. (quoting a CNN article)

    The government’s organic program, says Joan Shaffer, a spokeswoman for the Agriculture Department, “is a marketing program that sets standards for what can be certified as organic. Neither the enabling legislation nor the regulations address food safety or nutrition.” (quoting the NY Times)

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