What about buying organic? Found these tips today and wanted to share!
Publications as varied as the Wall Street Journal, in its 2007 When Buying Organic Makes Sense and When It Doesn’t, and Consumers Union, in its 2006 Tips on Buying Organics Without Breaking the Bank, recommend seeking out organic meats when possible.
• Milk. Pesticides and other man-made chemicals have been found in human breast milk, so it should come as no surprise that they have been found in dairy products. While any residues detected have been rare, and of low concentration, milk is of special concern because it is a staple of children’s diets. Organic dairies cannot feed their cows with grains grown with pesticides, nor can they use antibiotics or growth hormones like rGBH or rbST.
• Coffee. Many of the beans you buy are grown in countries that don’t regulate use of chemicals and pesticides. Look for the Fair Trade Certified Organic label on the coffee package or can; it will give you some assurance that chemicals and pesticides were not used on the plants. It will also mean that fair prices were paid for the end product in support of the farm and that farm workers are treated fairly.
• Peaches. Multiple pesticides are regularly applied to these delicately skinned fruits in conventional orchards. Can’t find organic? Safe alternatives: watermelon, tangerines, oranges and grapefruit.
• Apples. Scrubbing and peeling doesn’t eliminate chemical residue completely so it’s best to buy organic when it comes to apples. Peeling a fruit or vegetable also strips away many of their beneficial nutrients. Can’t find organic? Safe alternatives: watermelon, bananas and tangerines.
• Sweet bell peppers. Peppers have thin skins that don’t offer much of a barrier to pesticides. They’re often heavily sprayed and victim to pesticides commonly used to keep them insect-free. Can’t find organic? Safe alternatives: green peas, broccoli and cabbage.
• Celery. Celery has no protective skin, which makes it almost impossible to wash off the chemicals that are used on conventional crops. Can’t find organic? Safe alternatives: broccoli, radishes and onions.
• Strawberries. If you buy strawberries out of season, they’re most likely imported from countries that use less-stringent regulations for pesticide use. Can’t find organic? Safe alternatives: blueberries, kiwi and pineapples.
• Lettuces. Leafy greens are frequently contaminated with what are considered the most potent pesticides used on food. Can’t find organic? Safe alternatives: cabbage, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts.
• Grapes. Imported grapes run a much greater risk of contamination than those grown domestically. Vineyards can be sprayed with different pesticides during different growth periods of the grape, and no amount of washing or peeling will eliminate contamination because of the grape’s thin skin. Can’t find organic? Safe alternatives: blueberries, kiwi and raspberries.
• Potatoes. America’s popular spud ranks high for pesticide residue. It also gets the double whammy of fungicides added to the soil for growing. Can’t find organic? Safe alternatives: eggplant, cabbage and earthy mushrooms.
• Tomatoes. A tomato’s easily punctured skin is no match for chemicals that will eventually permeate it. Can’t find organic? Safe alternatives: green peas, broccoli and asparagus.