13 Foods You Should Always Buy Organic

Include these foods on your organic shopping list.

By Reader's Digest Editors
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    1. Potatoes

    Potatoes often retain pesticides even after they are washed and peeled. Almost 80 percent of potatoes contain pesticides.

    2. Baby food

    Babies are the most vulnerable to pesticides, and they eat a lot of this.

    3. Peanut butter

    Non-organic peanut butters are high in pesticides and fungus and contain aflatoxin, a potential carcinogen.

    4. Milk

    Dairy cows are routinely fed hormones, antibiotics, and pesticide-covered grains, all of which can end up in your milk. The higher the fat level of the milk, the higher the level of pesticides. And toddlers drink lots of whole milk.

    5. Apples

    Apples are near the top of the high-pesticide-level list. They’re also a favorite of kids; apples, apple juice, and applesauce are among the most common foods eaten by children ages 1 to 5, according to a USDA survey. So buy organic if you can.

    6. Meat

    Animal feed is often laced with antibiotics and synthetic growth hormones. Residue from these chemicals may still be present in meat. The use of antibiotics in food production could contribute to the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

    7. Nectarines

    About 97 percent of nectarines have been found to contain pesticides, according to the USDA.

    8. Spinach

    Spinach and lettuce have lots of surface area for pesticides to cover. More than 83 percent of spinach contains pesticides.

    9. Peaches and pears

    Nearly 94 percent of peaches and pears contain pesticides. Peaches are number one on the Environmental Working Group’s list of foods with the most and the highest concentration of pesticides.

    10. Strawberries

    Thin skins make fruits particularly vulnerable to pesticides. Some 90 percent of strawberries contain pesticides.

    11. Bell peppers

    Peppers absorb pesticides like a sponge. About 68 percent of peppers contain pesticides and many are imported from countries with looser standards than the US has

    12. Eggs

    Pesticides may pass from chickens to eggs, and from there to the many foods you make with them. Organic eggs com­e from birds that eat organic feed and are not pumped up with growth hormone or dosed with an­tibiotics.

    13. Imported grapes (from Chile, etc)

    Some 86 percent of these grapes contain pesticides. And it’s pretty hard to peel a grape.

    Sources: Parents.com, gourmetfood.com, WebMD.com


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