Summer’s here and so are the bright and colorful fruit and vegetable choices at your local market. It gets confusing these days which fruits and veggies you should buy organic and which are ok to buy conventionally grown. Organic foods are, by definition, foods that are produced using methods that do not involve modern synthetic inputs such as synthetic pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Organic Foods also do not contain genetically modified organisms, and are not processed using irradiation, industrial solvents, or chemical food additives. I believe eating organic is very important, especially when it comes to produce. Yes, it can be a little more pricey, but the benefits for your body and health far out weigh the higher price tag.
Here are 12 fruits + veggies that YOU SHOULD BUY ORGANIC:
- Berries– blueberries, strawberries and raspberries: Berries are very prone to fungus, so they are heavily treated to survive transit.
- Celery: According to Yahoo Health, due to peak consumer demand around Thanksgiving and Christmas, 75% of the crop is grown during the fall and winter, when rain and wind promote the growth of bacteria and fungal diseases. And because we eat the entire stalk, it must be sprayed repeatedly to ward off pests.
- Spinach: This leafy green is very attractive to insects and grasshoppers. In addition, spinach tends to pull the chemicals out of the soil and into their leaves.
- Potatoes: Your favorite spuds are sprayed frequently to prevent pests and to keep them uniform in size while growing. Organic potatoes can sometimes be hard to find, if you must get the conventional kind, be sure to always peel the skin off.
- Apples: Apples are susceptible to more than 30 insects and at least 10 diseases. Much like peaches and berries, they are sprayed with pesticides to help them ship and store better.
- Peaches: Their sweetness attracts not just us, but bugs too. As because of this, they are heavily and frequently sprayed. The fuzz on the peaches, unfortunately, traps much of these chemicals.
- Nectarines: They are just like peaches without the fuzz.
- Bell peppers: They have no bitter compounds to prevent insect infestation. Also, the creased top of the bell pepper traps the pesticides.
- Kale: Because we eat all parts of kale, including the outer leaves, it is sprayed to make it sellable.
- Lettuce: Same reason as Kale.
- Cherries: They are a “naked fruit” with no peel or outer layer for protection from pesticides.
- Imported grapes: Grapes are susceptible to rot during the shipping process, so they are often treated heavily with fungicide.
Here are 12 that are NATURALLY CLEAN:
- Sweet potatoes: Unlike regular potatoes, these yummy tubers have built-in defenses from insects. Also before they are sold, sweet potatoes are cured at warm temperatures and high humidity which causes the skin to thicken to prevent damage.
- Asparagus: The spears grow so quickly that there is little time for insects to affect them.
- Onions: They have built-in protection, the unpleasant sulfur compounds, that keeps bugs away. Even though they are treated with chemicals, it is shed off with the outer layer during harvest.
- Avocado: It’s all in the peel, the pesticides that is.
- Grapefruit: Although this citrus is treated with chemicals, the peel absorbs it.
- Mangoes: Mangoes are grown in Mexico, the Caribbean, and South America, where the dry climate discourages fungus and hand weeding is a common alternative to herbicides.
- Cabbage: The outer leaves protect the inside leaves (the one we eat) from the pesticides.
- Corn: When you remove the husk, the pesticides go with it.
- Cantaloupe: It’s thick rind protects us from any harmful chemicals sprayed on the outside.
- Watermelon: Like the cantaloupe, it’s thick rind is not eaten.
- Pineapples: They are sprayed early in the season, so most of the chemicals wear off. Any remaining residue will stay on the peel.
- Eggplant: It’s sleek and shiny coat cause the chemicals to slip off easily.