When Should You Buy Organic? The Dirty Dozen

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When we went grocery shopping this morning we wound up debating over organic versus non-organic bananas. When are the extra pennies really worth it? Then we remembered seeing a list that a friend had tacked up in her kitchen called "The Dirty Dozen." Check out the 12 fruits and vegetables that you should be careful about. (Hint: it's not bananas!)

The Department of Agriculture announced 12 fruits and vegetables that they claim have higher levels of pesticides, even after washing. The results are based on an analysis of government tests by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a research and advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C.

Here are the must-buy organic fruits and vegetables:

  • Apples
  • Cherries
  • Grapes, imported
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Bell peppers
  • Celery
  • Potatoes
  • Spinach/lettuce

Don't worry about going organic with these fruits and vegetables:

  • Bananas
  • Kiwis
  • Mangos
  • Papaya
  • Pineapples
  • Asparagus
  • Avocado
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Onions

These generally don't have pesticide residue. For the full list of rankings, click here. Do you grocery shop following a list like this? Or do you tend to buy everything organic?

Related Posts:

Joel Salatin on Big Organic and the Future of Food
From Farm to Table: The Local Food Movement
Survey: Do You Buy Organic Clothing?
Is Organic Milk Really Better?

Originally published 2008-09-22 - CB

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