According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a nonprofit organization that concentrates on environmental research, consumers can lower their exposure to pesticides up to 90% by means of buying organic products. Special mention was given to the fruits and vegetables that are considered the most contaminated of them all, namely the following:
- Summer Squash
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Kale or Collard Greens
- Sweet Bell Peppers
- Hot Peppers
- Imported Nectarines
If you love apples, you may be disappointed to know that it can contain more than 40 different kinds of pesticides. Most of them may not even be eliminated when you peel or wash the fruit. Meanwhile, the top three with the most number of pesticides are:
- Celery with over 60 pesticides
- Peaches that can have as many as 60 types of pesticides
- Strawberries can have almost 60 pesticides, especially when it is not their season
It can be difficult to memorize all the names of fruits and vegetables listed above. As a general rule of thumb, it can be helpful to know that the thinner the skin of the produce, the higher the likelihood that it contains numerous amounts of pesticides. Think of it this way: compare the peel of the apple versus the banana. If the farmers add pesticides to the banana, it will be much easier to discard the pesticides by simply removing the banana peel. Apple, on the other hand, has thinner skin, so even if you remove it, some of the pesticides will remain.
Unfortunately, organic foods can put a dent on people’s budget. This is one of the biggest reasons why most consumers stay away from organic produce. Instead, they settle for the ones that are conventionally grown in order for them to save money. If this is your case, you don’t really have to compromise your health with your budget. In fact, there are items that are still deemed safe even though they are not free from pesticides. These include:
- Sweet corn
- Sweet Potatoes
- Sweet Peas
Note that the sweet corn that is listed above should not be confused with the genetically modified (GMO) canned corn that you can buy at grocery stores.
As a bonus, there are also some food items that you should always buy organic, including grains. If you buy the conventionally-grown ones, you will have to deal with at least 10 pesticide residues, as revealed by the USDA Pesticide Program. Additionally, buying non-organic grains can cause you to deal with neurotoxins and carcinogens.