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Which Vegetables Should You Buy Organic?

Wednesday - August 10th, 2016
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With all the hype about organic produce, it can be hard to know what to believe. Which foods are worth the extra cost, and which can you buy the conventional way?

What makes it organic?

The Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA) defines “organic” food as grown without pesticides or fertilizers that have synthetic ingredients. Vegetables labeled as “100% organic” must contain at least 95% organic ingredients, and those labeled “made with organic ingredients” must contain at least 70% organic ingredients. Only foods that are labeled as 100% organic are guaranteed to be free of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

The good and the bad.

Every year the Environmental Working Group (EWG) puts out a list of the “dirtiest” fruits and veggies (those you should buy organic) and the “cleanest” (those you can probably stand to buy conventionally). Their classification is based on how many pesticides are found within a sample size of produce. Here are the top picks on the 2016 list.

“Dirtiest” veggies:

  1. Celery
  2. Spinach
  3. Bell peppers
  4. Cucumbers
  5. Snap peas

“Cleanest” veggies:

  1. Avocados
  2. Corn on the cob
  3. Cabbage
  4. Sweet peas (frozen)
  5. Onions