In response to my recent posting about choosing organics at the supermarket as part of Week Nine of Green Boot Camp, a reader posted this comment:
"Some foods are more important to buy organic than others, because some foods absorb more pesticides during their growth period than others. I've heard that peaches, apples, strawberries, and potatoes are particularly concentrated in pesticides and are best to buy organic."
I've heard the same thing, too--which is why washing your fruits and vegetables is so important. But choosing organics goes beyond just a good scrub in the sink. You should find foods that don't absorb chemicals as readily as others, which is why this reader went on to ask:
"Do you know a way to find out which foods you should prioritize buying organic?"
Actually, I do.
According to the Environmental Working Group (a not-for-profit environmental research organization dedicated to improving public health and protecting the environment by reducing pollution in air, water and food), there is a clear priority list when it comes to produce and asking yourself, "Should I buy organic?" On its website, it lists the top 20 produce that is mostly likely to absorb pesticides--meaning, you should choose organics whenever buying them. They are:
3. Sweet Bell Peppers
9. Grapes (imported)
14. Green beans
15. Hot peppers
20. Grapes (domestic)
A recent New York Times blog posting discussed organics and basically said, if you're going to make the switch to organics, do so with the following five foods:
3. Peanut butter
Do they even make organic peanut butter and ketchup? That's a new one on me.
Considering I have peanut butter toast for breakfast nearly every morning, I'm going to have to go check this out. In the meantime, as you consider making small steps towards adding organic products to your shopping cart, I hope you find this information to be helpful.