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What Veggies Are Best to Buy Organic?
Q: What Veggies Are Best to Buy Organic?

A. 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 of 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.
  1. Peaches
  2. Apples
  3. Sweet bell peppers
  4. Celery
  5. Nectarines
  6. Strawberries
  7. Cherries
  8. Lettuce
  9. Grapes (imported)
  10. Pears
  11. Spinach
  12. Potatoes

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.

In addition reducing exposure to residual pesticides, buying organic is earth-friendly: sustainable organic farming enhances the soil and conserves water—a boon to all of us in the long-term. Environmentalists and health professionals agree: If we can get a lot of people to do a little, it will make a big difference!

Lastly, remember that 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 Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, the national media spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association in Chicago, “Consume the minimum recommended amount every day—no matter how it’s grown!”

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