The U.S. Department of Agriculture found that even after washing, some fruits and vegetables consistently carry much higher levels of pesticide residue than others. Based on an analysis of more than 100,000 U.S. government pesticide test results, researchers at the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a research and advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C., have developed the “dirty dozen” fruits and vegetables, above, that they say you should always buy organic, if possible, because their conventionally grown counterparts tend to be laden with pesticides. They sometimes cost more than 50% — but are well worth the money.

Fruit

There are a few things that you should ALWAYS buy organic:

  • Apples
  • Cherries
  • Grapes, imported (Chile)
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries

Vegetables

  • Bell peppers
  • Celery
  • Potatoes
  • Spinach

Reduce the risk of exposure to the agent believed to cause mad cow disease and minimize exposure to other potential toxins in non-organic feed. These foods contain no hormones, and antibiotics — which have been linked to increased antibacterial resistance in humans — have not been added to the food. They often cost 100 percent more than conventional products. BUT ISN’T YOUR HEALTH WORTH IT

These foods have have been found to have less or no pestiside residue:

Fruit

  • Bananas
  • Kiwi
  • Mangos
  • Papaya
  • Pineapples

Vegetables

  • Asparagus
  • Avocado
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Corn
  • Onions
  • Peas

But, I would advise you to eat organic whenever possible!