Most people understand the importance of buying foods organic, but many cannot afford to go completely organic. In addition, in smaller cities and certain parts of the country, organic food is hard to find and/or it is priced higher than most are willing to spend.
So, the question is, which foods are most important to buy organic and which foods are safer to buy non-organic?
Meat, Eggs and Dairy
According to HealthCastle.com, the three most important foods to buy organic are meat, eggs and dairy products.
• Meat products include beef, turkey, chicken, game and pork
• Eggs and egg products
• Dairy includes all milk and cheese products
The contaminants in the non-organic sources of these foods include antibiotics, pesticides from animal feed, as well as added growth hormones. Organic meat, eggs, and dairy come from animals that are raised on a diet that does not contain fertilizers or pesticides. In addition, they are not given growth hormones or antibiotics.
Fruits and Vegetables
The following fruits and vegetables contain the highest levels of pesticides and other chemical-based contaminants, even after being washed, according to the Environmental Working Group.
• Peaches and nectarines are the top organic fruit pick because they require significant amount of pesticides to grow and have thin, porous skin.
• Apples also have consistently levels of high pesticide residues and are the next organic fruit pick.
• Bell peppers are the top organic vegetable pick as they are heavily sprayed with insecticides. This includes red, green and yellow bell peppers.
• Celery is number two on the list for organic vegetables. Many chemicals are used for conventional growth, which readily absorb into the celery stalks.
If you can just buy the above foods organic, you are doing fairly well. The following list of foods outlines the next level of importance for buying organic.
• Cherries, grapes, pears and strawberries are also treated with large amounts of pesticides. Out of season, they are often imported from other countries which usually have inadequate growing regulations.
• Spinach and lettuce are known to high levels of pesticides that are especially potent.
• Potatoes often contain high levels of chemicals as well as possible fungicide contamination from the surrounding soil.
• Coffee is often grown in countries where pesticides and herbicides are not well regulated. Since coffee drinkers usually one or more cups every day, coffee is a priority for buying organic and is now available in most cities at reasonable prices.
• Baby foods are an obvious choice for organic for many reasons, but especially because a baby’s immune system is not fully developed to protect it from the damaging effects of dangerous chemicals in pesticides and herbicides.
If you can’t remember these specific foods when shopping, just remember that if the fruit or vegetable has a thin, delicate skin that you eat, buy organic. Thicker skins retain less chemical residues. For example:
Produce that are generally safer to buy non-organic include:
• Melons and tropical fruits, such as banana, papaya, kiwi, mango
• Thick-skinned vegetables such as avocado, broccoli, cauliflower, eggplant and onions.