In a perfect world, we'd eat organic all the time. Who doesn't want to avoid consuming pesticides, antibiotics, steroids, genetically modified crops, and human waste? And organically produced food isn't just better for your body: It's better for the environment, too, usually grown in more humane conditions for both animals and workers, and often it's fresher and more flavorful.
Yet eating only organic requires time and money: Pesticide-free items can be difficult to find and can cost as much as 40 percent more than conventional products. Thankfully, though, not all food requires the same chemical load to produce. Use the guide here to prioritize buying organic for those foods most likely to be contaminated, choosing conventional when pesticide-free is too costly or unavailable. Launch Gallery >>
Fruits and vegetables with edible skin
Fruits and veggies with an edible skin or no skin at all are the most contaminated. The worst, or "Dirty Dozen," according to the Environmental Working Group, are apples, celery, strawberries, peaches, spinach, nectarines, grapes, bell peppers, potatoes, blueberries, lettuce, and kale/collard greens. When available, buy these organic.
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