Organic Produce vs Conventionally Grown

When shopping for fresh produce, I really, really want to buy organic. I believe it is healthier and I am careful about what I put in my body.

But for all my good intentions there are time when I can’t/won’t buy organic: can’t find the organic produce I want. Either it is unavailable in the store, the price is astronomical or I want a specific item that is hard to find. At times like that I stand in the store wondering if it really matters all that much if the food is organic or not.

I found some info what makes the choice a little easier. Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) annual Shoppers’ Guide to Pesticides in Produce is a treasure trove of useful information.

Turns out there a few select food where buying organic is not quite as important – food that have a low pesticide load.

  • Asparagus
  • Avocado
  • Cabbage
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cauliflower
  • Eggplant
  • Grapefruit
  • Kiwi
  • Mangoes
  • Onions
  • Pineapple
  • sweet peas (frozen)
  • Sweet potatoes

Plus two more if you KNOW there are non-GMO:

  • Sweet corn (non-GMO. Most corn is GMO)
  • Papayas (non-GMO. Most Hawaiian papaya is GMO)

Then there are the “dirty dozen” that are on the “please don’t do this to your body” list. Items that are virtually poisonous because of the amounts of chemicals used in growing them.

  • Apples
  • Celery
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Grapes
  • Kale
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Peppers-Bell
  • Peppers-Hot
  • Potatoes
  • Snappeas-imported
  • Strawberries

This is great info, but if your memory is like mine, it isn’t going to help me much at the grocery store. EWG comes to the rescue with an apps for the Windows,  iPhone/iPad and Android operating systems. And for those who just want to carry paper in their wallet they have a handy cutout.


If you have a few extra pennies, think about donating to the EWG to support their important work!

About Genene Cote

Genene Coté -- Nutrition Advocate, Counselor and Coach who is also a Whole Food Plant Based Eater (vegetarian/vegan), cook and gardener.
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