How to not be poisoned.
Some fruit and vegetables are sprayed a lot, others not so. Some absorb pesticides, others are more resilient. How the hell do we find out?
Click on Continue Reading below to find out. And thanks to Dorka for finding this list.
Fruits (Buy these ones organic)
Apples – Multiple pesticides are found on apples- a favourite food of many children
Apricots, nectarines, peaches – Most stone fruits are highly likely to contain pesticide residues
Cherries – During their growth cycle, cherries are sprayed 8 to 10 times with various pesticides and other chemicals, and are likely to contain pesticide residue
Grapes (Imported) – Buy only organic or avoid imported grapes entirely, especially for children. Imported grapes may be fumigated with highly toxic methylbromide.
Lemons, limes, oranges – Most pesticide residue is concentrated in the peel, so buy organic when using peel in baking or drinks
Pears – Highly likely to contain pesticide residues after harvest
Raspberries – Highly likely to contain pesticide and fungicide residue – buy local.
Strawberries – When the USDA’s pesticide data program releases its annual list of produce samples with residues that exceed tolerable levels, strawberries appear more often than any other.
Fruits (OK to buy these ones non-organic)
Blueberries – Have low pesticide residues– buy local.
Cantaloupe (Domestic) – It’s OK to eat domestically grown non-organic melons in season. However, cantaloupes imported from Mexico frequently test positive for pesticide residues and should be avoided
Bananas – Low pesticide residues and a thick skin made non-organic an acceptable choice. Fair-trade or organic bananas are often the same price as non-organic.
Grapes (Domestic) – Grapes grown in the U.S. typically test low for pesticide residue. Non-organic grapes are fine but for small children organic is the best choice
Grapefruit, Tangerines – Among citrus fruits, both rank low in pesticide residue. Most pesticide residue is concentrated in the peel. Buy organic if using the peel
Mangoes – This thick skinned tropical fruit typically has little or no pesticide residue
Watermelon – Pesticides do not work well for this crop and are used sparingly
Nuts, Seeds & Legumes (Buy organic)
Almonds – Many toxic pesticides and herbicides are used on almond trees. If you eat almonds daily, buy organic
Peanuts (and peanut butter) – Peanuts grown underground and are known to absorb toxins from the soil.
Pecans– If you can find organic pecans, they’re a good choice because pecan trees tend to be sprayed frequently, herbicides, and miticides
Soy Foods – Soy foods, soymilk and tofu are so processed that few pesticide residues remain; however, several very toxic pesticides are used to grow conventional soybeans.
Nuts, Seeds & Legumes (Ok to buy these ones non-organic)
Beans – Dried beans are usually washed, soaked, rinsed, and boiled, so insecticide residues are likely removed in the process.
Cashews – Are grown almost exclusively in tropical locations where pesticides are rarely used.
Macadamia Nuts – Few pesticides are used, if any.
Sesame Seeds – Organic is better, but pesticide residues are minor in non-organic sesame seeds and oils
Vegetables (Buy Organic)
Beets – Thin skinned veggies that grow underground can absorb pesticides and heavy metals. Organic is best.
Bell Peppers (all colors) – Conventionally grown peppers are highly likely to contain multiple pesticide residues
Carrots – Carrots are so good at absorbing heavy metals from soil, they are sometimes grown as a throw away crop to rid a field of lead or arsenic contamination. Always buy organic.
Celery – Is the vegetable most likely to contain pesticide residues. 82% of samples have tested positive
Collard & Salad greens, Swiss chard – Leafy greens that grow close to the ground tend to have high pesticide residue levels
Cucumbers – Highly toxic organophosophate pesticides are used on conventionally grown cucumbers
Green Beans – Sprayed multiple times with pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides
Potatoes – Especially russets, are highly likely to contain multiple pesticide residues
Spinach – Is often grown in less-than-ideal conditions, so conventional farmers use significant amounts of pesticides, fungicides and herbicides. More than 60% of the non-organic spinach tested by the FDA contains pesticide residue, including DDT and permethrin
Winter Squash -Mild pesticides are used on hard winter squashes. Conventionally grown winter squash is coated with an oily wax, making the skin inedible. Organic is a better choice but non-organic is acceptable if you don’t eat the skin.
Vegetables (Ok to buy non-organic)
Asparagus – Does not appeal to many pests and is rarely treated with pesticides
Avocados – Low pesticide residues and a thick skin make non-organic avocados an acceptable choice
Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cauliflower, Cabbage – Pesticides don’t work well on these veggies so few are used.
Corn, sweet – Although it may be sprayed with herbicides and some pesticides, sweet corn almost never contains pesticide residue (buy local).
Eggplant (all varieties) – Because it is selectively sprayed with minimally toxic pesticides, eggplant rarely contains pesticide residue
Garlic – Has natural pest control and is rarely sprayed
Onions (all) – Have natural pest control and are not sprayed much. Green onions are sometimes sprayed with an herbicide. Organic is better, but non is acceptable
Rhubarb – Pesticides are almost never used on rhubarb, as the leaves are already highly toxic to many creatures including humans
Sweet Potatoes – Pesticides do not work well for this crop and are used sparingly
Tomatoes – Buy local tomatoes. Always. If you cannot find them, buy whatever tomato smells the closest to a home grown tomato
Zucchini – Does not tolerate many pesticides and herbicides, but the pesticides used on this crop include several known carcinogens
Dairy (Organic is best!)
Butter – Typically shows low pesticide levels, but pesticide residues are stored in fat and butter is nearly all fat
Cheese – is mostly fat, and pesticides and persistent organic pollutants tend to accumulate in animal fat. Organic cheese is best, but hard to find. For children, buy only organic. Local cheese may be a good option. BUY LOCAL
Eggs – Local pastured eggs are wonderful if you have access to a farm. If not, organic eggs are the next best choice, followed by cage-free eggs. BUY LOCAL
Milk, Yogurt – Organic milk and milk products contain no hormones or antibiotics. Organic milk is highly recommended.
Source: Vegetarian Times Magazine & To Buy or Not to buy by Cindy Burke