Feeding Your Family: The Organic Panic


You Needn't Bust Your Budget to Avoid Pesticides

by Larissa Phillips

Now that Wal-Mart is selling organic foods, pesticide-free meals should become the norm on every family's table, right?

Well, maybe not. Even with the nation's leading food retailer getting in on the game, a 100-percent organic diet will most likely remain out of the financial reach of most families.

But that's OK. According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving public health, some organic foods are worth those high price tags - and some are not. According to the EWG's Pesticide Report Card, certain fruits and vegetables consistently test high for pesticides, while others test relatively clean. See the accompanying list, and consider keeping it in your wallet. You might not end up with an entirely organic diet - but you might not need to, either.

Pesticide Report Card

Highest in Pesticides

Whenever possible, buy organic versions of these foods:

  • Apples

  • Bell Peppers

  • Celery

  • Cherries

  • Grapes (imported)

  • Nectarines

  • Peaches

  • Pears

  • Potatoes

  • Red Raspberries

  • Spinach

  • Strawberries


Lowest in Pesticides

Unless money is no object, savvy shoppers might want to save their organic budget for the dirty dozen listed above:

  • Asparagus

  • Avocados

  • Bananas

  • Broccoli

  • Cauliflower

  • Corn (sweet)

  • Kiwi

  • Mangoes

  • Onions

  • Papaya

  • Pineapples

  • Peas (sweet)

Click HERE for a printable version of this Pesticide Report Card.
To read more of the EWG's report card, go to

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