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To Buy Organic Or Not To Buy Organic

By September 1, 2010 - 11:59am

By Carolyn "The Healthy Voyager" Scott

One of the biggest decisions we face when buying produce is whether or not to choose organic. Most folks know that eating organic fruits and vegetables can reduce exposure to carcinogenic toxins. However, in this economy, sometimes our wallets override our emotions. Well, I'm here to tell you that there is a loophole to get out of the guilt we may have when not buying organic. If you're looking to do right by your body without breaking the bank, you will be happy to know that you can skimp here and there!

Two lists were compiled with data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, one is "The Dirty Dozen" and the other is "The Clean 15." Tests were run in order to find out the amount of pesticide residue found in non-organic fruits and vegetables after they had been pressure washed. The produce that made the “Dirty Dozen” list tested positive for at least 47 different chemicals, with some testing positive for as many as 67. And that wasn't just in the skin, they found traces all the way down into the seeds! By making sure that you stick to organic when buying the fruit and veggies from this list, you can reduce your exposure to harmful toxins by as much as 80 percent.

But you can rest easy when you can't afford to buy organic -- just purchase conventional from the "Clean 15" list, as those fruits and vegetables were the least affected by the chemicals they came in contact with. Mainly due to their thicker skin, these items are able to keep from absorbing the toxins much better than those on the "Dirty Dozen" list. Of course, I'm an advocate of buying locally and organic as much as possible, but in this day and age, we could all use a financial break every now and again, so here's a little pass when you need one.

Fruits & vegetables that you should always buy organic:

* celery
* peaches
* strawberries
* apples
* domestic blueberries
* nectarines
* sweet bell peppers
* spinach, kale and collard greens
* cherries
* potatoes
* imported grapes
* lettuce

Those you can buy conventional:

* onions
* avocados

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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