Even today with the word organic being in our faces time and time again, many people are still confused about it and seem to not understand why the costs for organic fruits and vegetables are so high.
Organic produce is grown without the use of harmful pesticides and chemicals that are absorbed into the fruit or vegetable. It relies on fertilizers of organic origin such as compost manure, green manure, and bone meal. In general, organic standards are designed to allow the use of naturally occurring substances while prohibiting or strictly limiting synthetic substances. (Wikipedia).
Organic produce, especially when compared to conventionally grown fruits and vegetables may not look so great to the human eye since conventionally grown produce appears to be larger and it simply looks better aesthetically. The pesticides and chemicals used on conventionally grown fruits and vegetables are rarely tested for human consumption, and have been implicated in a number of health conditions (EPA).
Some health experts suggest that the benefit of consuming fruits and vegetables outweighs the risk of long-term exposure to pesticides. While the importance of fruits and vegetables can’t be understated, neither can the chemical exposure risk, especially to susceptible populations like children and pregnant women. Due to the developing brain and fetal tissue, those groups should avoid chemical exposure at all cost.
Luckily, the Environmental Working Group released its annual list of the Dirty Dozen and Clean 15, a guide to organic produce. This year, nectarines, spinach and strawberries made the list of the worst fruits and vegetables based on the concentration of absorbed pesticides. Avocado, sweet corn, and pineapples were the best, with the least amount of pesticides.
When it comes to spending your money on produce, buy the organic options of produce on the Dirty Dozen. You can still buy the non-organic options for produce on the Clean 15. Your body will thank you!