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When To Go Organic

Find out when it’s worth shelling out the extra cash for organic fruits and vegetables so you can steer clear of the worst pesticide-laden produce.

July 13th, 2012

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An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but it's also teeming with toxic insecticides and fungicides, according to the Environmental Working Group's 2012 “Dirty Dozen” list.

Each year, the EWG publishes its Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce to help consumers control pesticide exposure by identifying the most contaminated fruits and vegetables. This year, the list included two additional crops that did not meet the traditional Dirty Dozen criteria, yet still exhibited highly toxic insecticides.

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Before you ditch these fruits and vegetables altogether, keep in mind that going organic—particularly with produce you consume daily or several times a week—can help you stay pesticide-free. That being said, not everyone can afford to buy organic, so the EWG emphasizes that the list should be used as a guide. 

"If you eat an apple every single day and pesticides are a concern for you, buy organic," said EWG toxicologist Johanna Congleton, Ph.D. "But the health benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables outweigh the risks of pesticide exposure, so if it's between a [conventionally-grown] apple or a bag of chips, we still want you to eat that apple."

Check out EWG’s top 14 pesticide-laden fruits and vegetables so you can make good decisions when it comes to going organic. 

 

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