Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Should We Buy Organic?

The more I learn about about our food industry, the more I lean toward buying organic, locally-grown food. I'm fortunate to live in Southern California, near an organic farm. Even so, my budget still doesn't allow for me to buy all things organic. Perhaps I'll continue to discover resources that will allow me to buy all of my produce from local, sustainable, organic farms. Until then, I've got to include some conventionally grown foods.

Some conventionally grown produce is more likely to contain pesticides when it arrives in the store. Washing can get rid of surface residue, but the chemicals absorbed by the plant are there to stay. Buy locally grown when you can, and consider the following lists of most and least contaminated when deciding where to invest in organic.

12 Cleanest non-organic foods
  1. Asparagus
  2. Avocados
  3. Bananas
  4. Broccoli
  5. Cabbage
  6. Corn (though most is genetically modified)
  7. Kiwis
  8. Mangoes
  9. Onions
  10. Eggplant
  11. Pineapples
  12. Peas (sweet)

12 RISKIEST foods AKA "The Dirty Dozen"
  1. Apples
  2. Bell Peppers
  3. Celery
  4. Cherries
  5. Imported Grapes
  6. Nectarines
  7. Peaches
  8. Pears
  9. Potatoes
  10. Lettuce
  11. Spinach
  12. Strawberries & Raspberries

A more complete list can be found here.