I know it’s hard to justify spending twice as much to purchase organic fruits and vegetables compared to their non-organic counterparts. You might want to consider a compromise, though, adjusting your budget to purchase the organic variety of one or more items from the “Dirty Dozen”.
The Dirty Dozen is an annual list of the fruits and vegetables with the highest amounts of pesticide residues. These are absorbed by foods to varying degrees, meaning they cannot be simply washed away or removed by peeling. Sure, pesticides keep pests away, but they have been linked by careful scientific research to negative health effects, including skin, digestive, nerve, respiratory, and hormone problems, in addition to increasing one’s risk of cancer and reproductive issues. The health outcome depends on the amount of exposure as well as your health status, but one thing is certain: simultaneous exposure to two or more of these chemicals results in synergy, or a multiplying of their effects. The dirty dozen produce contain residue from multiple pesticides; in fact, strawberries typically contain 10 or more pesticides, with one sample testing positive for traces of 22 different pesticides.
So what are the dirty dozen? Strawberries, spinach, nectarines, apples, grapes, peaches, cherries, pears, tomatoes, celery, potatoes, and sweet bell peppers.
Determine which of the 12 you eat the most, and consider purchasing the organic option for at least one of them. Maybe if more people choose organic, farmers will get the message.
Just One Thing to do: Purchase the organic option of at least one of the Dirty Dozen fruits and vegetables.