Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables is one of the most important aspects of a healthy diet. Some people limit fresh produce because organic varieties are not readily available or are too expensive. The most important thing is to be sure to get enough fruits and vegetables, not whether or not everything is organic.
Organic fruits and vegetables help reduce exposure to pesticides. But there's no solid evidence that organic foods are healthier than those produced conventionally, according to a 2012 review of studies published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Still, there may be some advantages to eating organic.
Organic produce often can be found at local farmers' markets or food co-operatives, which often offer organic fruits and vegetables at lower prices. Another option for less expensive organic produce is to join a community-supported organic farm (sometimes called a CSA farm) or to find a CSA farm that delivers produce in your area. A garden, even a small garden, can supply a surprising amount of fresh vegetables or herbs.
According to the Environmental Working Group, you can lower your pesticide intake substantially by avoiding these 12 fruits and vegetables, which have the highest levels of pesticides. Buy organic varieties of these fruits and vegetables:
- Nectarines (imported)
- Grapes (imported)
- Sweet bell peppers
- Cherry tomatoes
- Snap peas