Emerson Ecologics – 12 Best Organic Bets – Produce that Should Top Your shopping List
By Nancy Gottesman
Those not up to buying organic everything can still benefit their families’ health by concentrating on where they get the most bang for the buck With all the headlines about pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, and other food-safety issues, you’re probably giving more consideration to the food you bring into your home. Is it nutritious? Is it safe? Like you, many people are thinking along the same lines. In fact, 39% of us now consume organic products at least once a week.
In addition to the advantage of lower pesticide levels, “some evidence suggests that organic produce may contain more vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial plant compounds than conventionally grown produce,” says Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, the national media spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association in Chicago. Plus, it’s earth-friendly: sustainable organic farming enhances the soil and conserves water—a boon to all of us in the long-term.
Get to know the top 12
Since organics often cost more to produce and therefore may cost shoppers more, those not up to buying organic everything can still benefit their families’ health by concentrating on where they get the most bang for the buck.
The Environmental Working Group—a Washington DC-based watchdog organization of scientists, policy experts, lawyers, and other professionals who review studies and data to expose threats to our environment and health—has compiled a list based on extensive analysis on contaminants in produce.
The EWG has found that you can lower your pesticide exposure by 90% simply by choosing the organic varieties of the following fruits and vegetables—presented from most to least important.
4. Domestic blueberries
6. Sweet bell peppers
7. Spinich, kale, and collard greens
10. Imported grapes
You can start slowly and purchase just a few items each week. Make one out of every ten foods you buy organic. Pick one thing—apples, peaches, or potatoes, for instance. Environmentalists and health professionals agree: If we can get a lot of people to do a little, it will make a big difference!
15 low-risk favorites
The produce in this list does not appear to absorb pesticides as easily and is safe to consume in non-organic form, including:
One more thing
Nine out of ten Americans do not eat the recommended daily allowance of 2 cups of fruit and 2 1/2 cups of vegetables each day. So your first step should simply be to buy more produce. If it’s within reach—such as in your fridge or in a fruit bowl on the dining room table—you’re more likely to eat more. Counsels Blatner, “Consume the minimum recommended amount every day—no matter how it’s grown!”