One of the easiest ways to shave down your grocery bill is to prioritize which foods you need to buy organic. The following 25 foods should ALWAYS be purchased organic either because they contain a high level of trace pesticides or because they are common GMOs.
Highest trace pesticides
Every year, the Environmental Working Group updates their Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides, which identifies those fruits and veggies with the most and least trace pesticides (dubbed the “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean Fifteen”), even after washing or peeling as the typical consumer would do. This year, in addition to the Dirty Dozen, they identified two veggies, kale and zucchini/squash, that exceeded the levels of trace pesticides typical of the Dirty Dozen. These both tested positive for organophosphate pesticides (potent neurotoxins that can affect children’s IQ and brain development, even at low doses) and organochlorine pesticides (including dieldrin, DDT and heptachlor, neurotoxins that studies have linked to cancer, neurological damage, Parkinson’s disease, birth defects, respiratory illness and abnormal immune system function).
- Sweet bell peppers
- Nectarines (imported)
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Hot Peppers
- Zucchini/summer squash+
GMOs are scare-ey! But they’re actually pretty easy to avoid when it comes to whole foods (non-processed foods, that is). There are just 8 high-risk crops as identified by The Non-GMO Project. They also consider animal-products such as meat, eggs, dairy, and honey to be high-risk due to the common use of GMOs in animal feed. Learn the ABCs of GMOs to help understand more about why you want to avoid these “frankenfoods.”
- Sugar Beets
- Zucchini/summer squash (both lists – double trouble!)