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Organic Fruits and Vegetables Co-Star in a Healthy Diet

What makes a healthy diet? Adopting a low-fat diet didn’t make Americans healthier. But does that mean “paleo” is the way to go?


One thing I know for sure is that minimally processed fruit, vegetables, beans and nuts are crucial to good nutrition. Many of my New Year’s resolutions focus on ways to raise a strong family – which includes two active boys in elementary school.

Each year my growing boys eat more, and our grocery budget expands. Over the years I learned about the hazards posed by pesticide residues on produce. We keep our groceries affordable by purchasing mostly organic produce, but making some exceptions for conventionally raised varieties with the least pesticides. 

That’s where EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™ helps me out. While nearly two-thirds of produce tested by the U.S. Department of Agriculture has measureable levels of at least one pesticide, there are dramatic differences in residues on various foods.

Every family makes its own choices, but mine includes bananas on the “always organic” list. While conventional bananas have relatively few pesticides detected on them, the cost difference is minimal, we eat a lot of them and banana cultivation requires many applications of pesticides.

Though they may cost more, I always buy organic apples, peaches, nectarines and strawberries because they carry a lot of pesticides. The same is true for celery, leafy greens and sweet bell peppers.

With the EWG 2015 Clean Fifteen list, I’ve saved a bundle by purchasing conventionally grown onions, cabbage, avocados and other foods. Let us know how you use the EWG Shoppers Guide™.

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