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Fruits and Vegetables You Should Buy Organic

Chelsea Terris

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You may have heard a great deal about organic vegetables and the benefits of purchasing and consuming them on a regular basis. Buying organic ensures that what you purchase has not been treated with toxic pesticides or genetically modified, especially because studies have shown that the use of genetically engineered crops increases the use of toxic herbicides.

However, there are certain fruits and vegetables that should absolutely be purchased organically, while others are not as essential. Because organic produce is generally more expensive in the United States than pesticide-treated GMOs, it may be essential to stretch your dollar while eating a healthy diet.

About Pesticides and GMOs

Pesticides are toxic chemicals sprayed on fruits and vegetables to kill insects that would otherwise threaten crops. Genetically-modified crops are agricultural products with genetic material that has been altered to accommodate different climates and to take on characteristics not natural to their breed. Pesticides are now part of factory farming in the U. S. to sustain the high levels of productivity demanded by a growing population. Similarly, genetically-modified crops have created an expectation of larger, flawless-looking crops that can grow anywhere and in large quantities.

While resiliency in farming is desirable, the nutritional side effects of modifying and treating food with heavy chemicals may be devastating. The introduction of unnatural sprays and novel genes into the population via food consumption may cause allergies; increased toxicity in the body leading to diseases like cancer; decreased nutritional value produced by genes that may block the absorption of these nutrients in humans; and even antibiotic resistance.

The following fruits and vegetables should always be purchased organic, along with the percentage found to be contaminated with pesticides, according to the USDA:

Nectarines: 97.3%

  • Celery: 94.5%

  • Pears: 94.4%

  • Peaches: 93.7%

  • Apples: 91%

  • Cherries: 91%

  • Strawberries: 90%

  • Grapes, imported: 86%

  • Spinach: 83.4%

  • Potatoes: 79.3%

  • Bell peppers: 68%

  • Raspberries: 59%

Low-Pesticide Foods

If you are attempting to work organic foods into your budget, the following how low instances of pesticides and can be consumed with less risk than the above. Many have thick skins which protect the fruit inside from contamination. However, remember that these foods may be genetically modified, a process which eliminates natural farming methods and may endanger your health:


  • Avocados

  • Bananas

  • Broccoli

  • Cauliflower

  • Corn (most corn grown in the United States today is genetically modified, so exercise caution here).

  • Kiwi

  • Mangoes

  • Onions

  • Papaya

  • Pineapples

  • Sweet peas


Want to learn more about the produce available to you and how to eat only the best of the best?

The following resources can help you separate fact from fiction:

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Consumer Reports

Environmental Working Group

  • Your health is your number one asset! Guard it well.


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