• August 14, 2020

STONE: Do you really need to buy organic produce? - Odessa American: Levi Stone

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STONE: Do you really need to buy organic produce?

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Posted: Sunday, July 5, 2020 4:30 am

Did you know, only 12% of Americans eat the standard daily requirements of fruits vegetables? That means many of you reading this post fall into the other 88% struggling to get enough fruits and veggies into your dietary goals.

One of the biggest questions is whether or not to buy organic produce. The simple answer is yes...and no. One of the best ways to determine if, and what, you should definitely go organic on is outlined by the Environmental Working Group (EWG). Each spring, the EWG publishes its list of “The Dirty Dozen” and “Clean Fifteen” to help consumers make the best choices when it comes to buying produce.

Since there are many variables (such as pesticides, chemicals, and other residues) that are known or have potential impacts to our health, not all produce is created equal. However, you don’t have to go “full organic” to ensure you’ve made the safest choice when purchasing produce. This is where the “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean Fifteen” come into play.

This year’s ranking of pesticide contamination considers 47 different fruits and vegetables based on 43,000 plus data points generated by the USDA as well as the Food and Drug Administration. Here are the 12 grocery store finds that the EWG say had more pesticide residues than all others (this is where you REALLY need to go organic with your purchases):

Strawberries (by far the top...ALWAYS go organic if you can)

Spinach

Kale

Nectarines

Apples

Grapes

Peaches

Cherries

Pears

Tomatoes

Celery

Potatoes

Inversely, the “Clean Fifteen” are foods with the lowest amounts of pesticide residues found on their surfaces (these are among the choices you don’t necessarily have to go organic with, as they are typically a safe bet regardless of the process they are grown):

Avocados

Sweet corn

Pineapple

Onions

Papaya

Sweet Peas (Frozen)

Eggplant

Asparagus

Cauliflower

Cantaloupes

Broccoli

Mushrooms

Cabbage

Honeydew Melon

Kiwi

Groceries are expensive and organic offerings often cost more than other options. Stretching your hard-earned dollars to make more informed choices can still have you and your family eating healthier without breaking the bank. Hope this helps in planning future grocery store and farmers market shopping tips, lists, and trips, while saving a few extra bucks as well.

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