When I was a vigilant vegetarian college student, I only bought organic produce. 100% of the time. I'm sure I was a total drag coming home for the holidays, singing the praises of my new lifestyle choices to anyone who'd listen. These days, I've loosened up a little and while I try to buy organic produce when I can, I also don't shy away from good conventional fruits at farmers markets or give a second thought to eating out at restaurants or friend's houses. This is not to say I no longer care or make an effort to buy organic — it's just now I have a bit more perspective on what fruits you really should buy organic if at all possible.
Grist wrote a piece last week discussing the Environmental Working Group's 2012 Shopper's Guide to Pesticide in Produce. (Which we covered last week too.) The guide identifies the "Clean 15" and "The Dirty Dozen," references to the best conventional fruits (pineapple, mango, kiwi) and the twelve you should only buy organic (grapes, apples, peaches) as they're likely covered in potentially harmful pesticide residue.
While the Shopper's Guide recommends buying certain organic fruits, they still would rather folks eat conventional fruits rather than other less nutritious food choices. It's just that, they believe, it all starts with awareness, so if you begin to acknowledge which fruits generally contain more pesticides you can begin to make better informed decisions. Note to my college self: you don't have to buy everything organic. Note to myself today: In addition to buying organic, buying local is pretty excellent, especially if it were to come from the "Clean 15" list.
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Shopper's delight: Here's what to buy organic at Grist
(Image: Faith Durand)