To Buy Organic or Not

Deciding whether to buy organic can be a daunting task when you are standing in the produce section of the grocery store trying to decide if it is worth the extra price to buy the organic apples or if you should just buy the ones that are on sale. The good news is that there are many tests that are run on the most popular fruits and vegetables that can tell you how much pesticide residue is on the produce. The great source for up-to-date information on this is the Environmental Working Group. They look at all the tests and put out a "Shopper's Guide to Pesticides" every year. In the guide are the 50 most popular fruits and vegetable listed in order from the best to the worst. It's a handy guide that you can print out or even get an iPhone app for, to help you make informed decisions about buying organic. An important thing to know about how the testing for pesticides is done is that the fruits and vegetables are tested according to how they are usually eaten, meaning that the food has been washed and possibly peeled, depending on the food, before it is tested. The test results show that washing and peeling does not get rid of the pesticides. The foods that are on the worst list should be organic or from your own pesticide-free garden. Here's an overview of the best and worst.

Worst for Pesticide Residue

1. Celery

2. Peaches

3. Strawberries

4. Apples

5. Blueberries

6. Nectarines

7. Bell Peppers

8. Spinach

9. Cheeries

10. Kale/ Collard Greens

11. Potatoes

12. Imported Grapes

Now for the good news: these foods have the least amount of residue and don't have to be organic unless you want to buy them organic.

Cleanest of Pesticide Residue

1. Onions

2. Avocados

3. Corn

4. Pineapples

5. Mangos

6. Peas

7. Asparagus

8. Kiwi

9. Cabbage

10. Eggplant

11. Cantaloupe

12. Watermelon

13. Grapefruit

14. Sweet Potato

15. Honey Dew Melon

We all want to buy foods that are good for our families, but sometimes the money does not stretch as far as we would like it to. That is why a list like this is so helpful. It helps you decide the best way to spend your dollars on fruits and vegetables.