“Yeah, but I wash and/or peel my conventional produce, so it’s fine.”
This could not be more false. The chemicals penetrate the skins of fruits and veggies and get into the flesh itself. If it’s in the food, it ends up in YOU.
Some produce carries little risk of carrying pesticides/herbicides, as few are needed when crowing these crops. These include thicker skinned fruits like mangoes, avocados, cantaloupe, pineapple, and papaya, as well as heartier vegetables like cabbage, asparagus, and onions. Other conventional produce that use fewer pesticides include peas, mushrooms, sweet potatoes, kiwi, grapefruit, and eggplant (please note that even though they contain fewer pesticides, this does not mean they are not genetically modified.)
Unfortunately, the above are the rare exception. Also unfortunate is the price you have to pay to avoid chemicals being sprayed (and then absorbed) on your food. Organic produce is on average 40-50% more than their equivalent conventional alternatives.
The biggest problem is the fact that it is nearly impossible to avoid non-organic produce unless you only only eat the organic versions you buy for yourself every single time you eat fruits or vegetables- conventional crops are literally everywhere we go. In an ideal world, this would never be an issue, but the reality in the United States is that eating organically for every meal every single day is not an option, unless you NEVER go out to eat, never go to a party, a friend’s house, or on vacation. Like I said- conventional produce is EVERYWHERE!
- Apples. The dirtiest of the bunch. Ninety-nine percent of apples contained at least one pesticide.
- Sweet Bell Peppers. One of these was as contaminated as a single grape.
- Celery. At worst, a single sample revealed 13 pesticides.
- Cherry Tomatoes. Similar to celery, one sample also contained the residue of 13 different pesticides.
- Cucumbers. The third most contaminated vegetable, these should always be peeled and rinsed before eating.
- Grapes. “A single grape tested positive for 15 pesticides.”
- Hot Peppers. Previously not on the list, recent tests showed these contain the seventh greatest amount of pesticide residues.
- Nectarines (Imported). Every imported nectarine tested was shown to contain pesticide residue.
- Peaches. Contained the fourth highest amount of pesticides among all fruits tested.
- Potatoes. “The average potato had much higher total weight of pesticides than any other food crop.”
- Spinach. After celery, the second most contaminated conventional vegetable.
- Strawberries. Ranked as the second dirtiest conventionally grown fruit on the market.
GMO Note: The most genetically modified (GMO) crops used for produce in the U.S. are corn, soy, zucchini, yellow summer squash, and papaya (specifically Hawaiian grown). To avoid GMOs, purchase these items strictly in their organic forms.
Tip to being able to afford more organic produce: Give up something small in your everyday life that you don’t NEED. If you go get a daily cup of coffee on the go, maybe cut it down to every other day and use the dollars you save to put towards purchasing organic produce. Or if you like to go out to eat twice a week, make it once, and put what you saved towards your grocery bill. There are many little swaps we can all do to help us afford these (if not all) organic fruits and veggies.
To sum it up, I’ve taken the following paragraph from the same maximizedliving.com article as was used before:
“A recent study from the Harvard School of Public Health demonstrated that eating organic produce can significantly reduce bodily toxicity. The study provided five consecutive days’ worth of organic food to children who typically ate a non-organic, conventional diet. After just five days, almost all pesticides had disappeared from the subjects’ urine samples. ‘This shows there definitely is a beneficial effect of eating organic produce,’ said study leader Dr. Alex Lu, associate professor of environmental exposure biology.”
Now you have all the facts- it’s time to decide for yourself!