Organic foods may be up to 50% more expensive than their non-organic counterparts, but for some food items, it’s worth every penny. Why? Because in some foods, especially fruits and vegetables with peels that we eat, the pesticides and fertilizers used during the growing process seep into the parts of the foods we eat! Ick! Here’s a list of the foods in your fridge that should always be organic… these are affectionately known as “the dirty dozen.”
Table of contents:
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Both peaches and their non-fuzzy relatives, nectarines, top the dirty dozen list, because somehow their skins, which we consume, let in the most pesticides and other nasty stuff. It may be a little more expensive to buy organic peaches, but they’re much, much safer. And once you eat one, you’ll be hooked — they taste better, too!
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For the same reason peaches and nectarines are better organic, apples and pears are, too. Again, we consume the peels, which means we’re also consuming the harmful chemicals used in keeping pests away.
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Bell peppers are much more flavorful if you purchase the organic versions, and you’ll also notice they’re a little smaller. While this may seem like you’re not getting as much for your money, it’s not really true. They’re so much more flavorful, a little less goes a long way!
Photo Credit: Beth Wold
Celery grows close to the ground, so consider the planting, growing, and harvesting process. Do you really want to ingest any of that nasty stuff, some of which is actual sewage sludge? Ick! No way! Buy the organic stuff, rinse it, and enjoy it with a little peanut butter.
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Non-organic grapes, especially those grown outside of the United States, have a very high concentration of harmful chemicals in them. Beware of the ones from Chile in particular, but if there aren’t organic grapes where you shop, at least try to buy the ones grown in the U.S.
Cherries have a thin, edible peel that makes them another one of the dirty dozen. Spend a little extra to get the tastier, safer organic versions, and use them in pies, or just eat them by the handful!
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Spinach and lettuce are a prime example of produce that can contain high levels of deadly E. Coli bacteria, so it’s a great idea to buy the organic version. Either way, rinse the leaves very carefully before you cook or eat them, just to be on the safe(r) side.
Photo Credit: Anushruti RK
What summer would be complete without fresh, ripe strawberries and raspberries? But agaon, because we consume the peels, we could also be consuming the harmful chemicals used in planting, growing, and even harvesting them. Pay the little bit extra to buy the organic versions, especially if you plan to feed them to children.
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This is going to be graphic and gross, but you need to know this — cattle that’s not organic is actually fed the blood and bones of other cattle. Those same cattle are also fed huge doses of antibiotics and growth hormones. Cattle are meant to be fed grass… feeding them all of these other things is not only disgusting, but they’re not designed to digest it well. Our cattle is infected with all manner of deadly diseases, including Mad Cow. Why else would other countries, including the U.K., ban imports of our beef? The same can be said for chickens, turkeys, and their eggs. This is definitely a case in which buying the organic versions, or at least the free-range versions, is a very, very good idea. Want to learn more? Read Eric Schlosser’s “Fast Food Nation.”
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Scientists are still debating whether or not milk that comes from cows that have been given growth hormones and antibiotics is harmful, especially to children. Some studies have shown that organic milk is safer, and I’m not taking that chance — the milk in my fridge is always organic. Why take the chance?
Don’t bother spending extra on organic bananas, broccoli, or cauliflower. Also, be aware that there currently aren’t guidelines for designating seafood as organic. So play it safe and spend your grocery budget on the items from my list! What organic items do you always buy, and why? Please let me know!
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