A big part of eating Real Food and buying organic is to avoid GMOs and pesticides. Fortunately, most GMOs are not found in the produce aisle, so at least in this area of the store our main concern is the pesticides used on the foods. When shopping I only choose organic for produce that has been shown to have a high level of pesticide and I turn to the Environmental Working Group to find out what is “safe”.
Every year the people at the Environmental Working Group (www.ewg.org) test produce to identify which are the most contaminated with pesticides. They then release their list of the “Dirty Dozen” and the “Clean Fifteen”. But, they actually test 51 different items and rank them from dirtiest (1) to cleanest (51). To make sure I’m applying their knowledge to all of my produce I just split their list in half and anything that ranks from #1 to #26 on their pesticide scale I buy organic. Here’s the chart I made to help me when shopping.
Organic Produce: What to Eat and How to Cheat
|Buy Organic||Save! Buy Conventional (Don't Spend More On These!)||Buy Organic||Save on These and Buy Conventional (Don't waste money on the organic version!)|
|corn (may be GMO)||cauliflower||grapes||grapefruit|
|hot peppers||green onions||peaches||kiwi|
|leafy greens (kale, collard)||onions||plums||oranges|
|lettuce||snap peas (domestic)||raspberries||pineapple|
|potatoes||sweet peas (frozen)||strawberries||watermelon|
|snap peas (imported)||sweet potatoes||tangerines|
|summer squash (domestically grown)||winter squash|
|zucchini (may be GMO)|