What Foods Should I Buy Organic? (Updated 2013 Shoppers Guide)

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About The Guide

The Shopper's Guide to Pesticides is a key resource for consumers who want to minimize their exposure to pesticides. The Shopper’s Guide will help you determine which fruits and vegetables have the most pesticide residues and are the most important to buy organic. You can lower your pesticide consumption by nearly 80% by avoiding the 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables and instead eating the least contaminated produce, according to EWG calculations.

The health benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables outweigh the risks of pesticide exposure. Use EWG's Shopper's Guide to Pesticides™ to reduce your exposures as much as possible, but eating conventionally-grown produce is far better than not eating fruits and vegetables at all. The Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce™ will help you determine which fruits and vegetables have the most pesticide residues and are the most important to buy organic. You can lower your pesticide intake by avoiding the 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables and choosing the least contaminated produce.

For the second year, we have expanded the Dirty Dozen™ with a Plus category to highlight two crops – domestically-grown summer squash and leafy greens, specifically kale and collards. These crops did not meet traditional Dirty Dozen™ criteria but were commonly contaminated with pesticides exceptionally toxic to the nervous system.

Though the Environmental Protection Agency has been restricting the uses of the most toxic pesticides, they are still detected on some foods. For example, green beans were on last year's Plus list because they were often contaminated with two highly toxic organophosphates. Those pesticides are being withdrawn from agriculture. But leafy greens still show residues of organophosphates and other risky pesticides. That's why they are on the Plus list for 2013.

 Tests in 2008 found that some domestically-grown summer squash – zucchini and yellow crookneck squash -- contained residues of harmful organochlorine pesticides that were phased out of agriculture in the 1970s and 1980s but that linger on some farm fields.

Use the Environmental Working Group's Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides to reduce your exposure as much as possible, because eating conventionally-grown produce is far better than not eating fruits and vegetables at all.

In this next video, Harvard professor Chensheng (Alex) Lu explains why people should avoid pesticides.

The UPDATED 2013 Clean 15 & Dirty Dozen Shoppers Guide



Click Here To Download the guide as a PDF (right click and choose 'save as')

Click here to visit the EWG site and sign up to access their free Android, iPhone and iPad Apps.

SPECIAL NOTE: We here at Food Matters believe that you should always buy your corn organic (even though it tests low for pesticides) as it is one of the most common genetically modified foods.


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