What Should I Buy Organically?

The Environmental Working Group has released the latest version of its annual Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce, a list it compiles of the fruits and vegetables with the most and least pesticide residue. It gets its data by analyzing U.S. Department of Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration tests for pesticide contamination, including how many different pesticides are on a vegetable, how much of those are on a vegetable, etc. Those tests are conducted on fruits and vegetables according to how they are intended to be consumed, e.g., peeled bananas and washed berries. The EWG's guide is a handy reference (you can even get a pdf printout from its site) to help weigh what to buy organically (produced without synthetic pesticides) and what not to, if pesticide exposure is one of your motives for purchasing organic food. So what's crawlin' with pesticide residue?

EWG's Top 5 "Dirtiest" Fruits and Vegetables
1. Apples
2. Celery
3. Strawberries
4. Peaches
5. Spinach

EWG's Top 5 "Cleanest" Fruits and Vegetables
1. Onions
2. Sweet Corn
3. Pineapples
4. Avocado
5. Asparagus

That said, the EWG says that "The health benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables outweigh the risks of pesticide exposure," so make sure you are getting enough of your fruit and vegetables in each day with our own pdf guide.