“Pesticides” is a frightening word in terms of health and the environment
It is true that organic substances can be pricier than the conventionally-grown food, but changing just a few staples in your kitchen to organic will help you incorporate healthier options into your lifestyle and supporting the farmers who grow organic (and, ideally, local) foods.
• Apples. They are the second most commonly-bought fruit, a close tie with bananas. They are the most pesticide-contaminated fruit (as are strawberries) according to the Environmental Working Group
• Ketchup. This delicious condiment is popular with Americans, and the organic alternative contains double the amount of healthy antioxidants in comparison to the conventional version. Always buy organic tomatoes, or better yet, grow your own
• Peanut Butter. According to the U.S.D.A., peanuts have the most acres devoted to growing it in comparison to any other nuts, fruits, or even vegetables. Crops are often sprayed with fungicide, which can contaminate the nut itself. Purchasing an organic version will not only be a healthier alternative, but is also just as tasty so the kids won’t notice.
• Milk: In the dairy industry, it is not uncommon to put artificial hormones, pesticides, and or antibiotics in with their products. Organic milk contains very little amounts of these additives and is actually much better for you. If you are lactose intolerant or vegan, try purchasing organic soy, almond or hemp milk.
• Potatoes. This great Irish vegetable is one of the biggest culprits alongside celery when it comes to the amount of pesticides hiding inside. It is now one of America’s staple foods and is incredibly popular in the culinary world. However, commercial potatoes have been discovered to be the most pesticide-contaminated vegetable, and still contain large amounts after washing and peeling, according to http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/.
If the cost of buying all organic isn't within your budget, fear not. Check out The Daily Green's list of fruit and vegetables so clean of pesticides you don't have to buy organic. (Of course, buying organic is always a good choice for the health of farms and farm workers, regardless of the residue left on the end product.) The feature also includes tips for buying, cleaning, storing and using each fruit and vegetable – as well as delicious recipes! Here's a look at the Environmental Working Group's 2011 Clean 15 list:
2. Sweet Corn
6. Sweet peas
9. Cantaloupe (domestic)
13. Sweet Potatoes
Converting just a few of these foods on your grocery list to organic will reduce your pesticide intake and the toxicity and waste it causes to the environment.