When to Go Organic  

If you can swing it, I recommend buying organic produce to avoid pesticides. But I get that it may not be realistic to purchase 100 percent of your fruits and veg this way—so here’s a list of foods to prioritize. They’re best to get organic because their conventional counterparts contain the highest amounts of pesticides. They used to be called the “dirty dozen,” but the list was recently updated by the Environmental Working Group to add a few more polluted foods. The EWG estimates that you can reduce your pesticide intake by as much as 80 percent if you steer clear of the top offenders. I’ve also included a rundown of the fruits and veggies that tend to be lowest in pesticides. Don’t feel compelled to buy them organic.

Best foods to buy organic:

1. Apples

2. Peaches

3. Nectarines

4. Strawberries

5. Grapes

6. Celery

7. Spinach

8. Red bell peppers

9. Cucumbers

10. Cherry tomatoes

11. Snap peas

12. Potatoes

13. Hot peppers

14. Kale

As righteous as it may seem, kale is one of the highest in pesticide (best to buy organic)

Foods with the lowest pesticide levels:

1. Avocadoes

2. Sweet corn

3. Pineapples

4. Cabbage

5. Sweet peas (frozen)

6. Onions

7. Asparagus

8. Mangos

9. Papayas

10. Kiwi

11. Eggplant

12. Grapefruit

13. Cantaloupe

14. Cauliflower

15. Sweet potatoes

sweet potatoes are among the lowest in pesticides

I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time memorizing this whole long list. My go-to rule that I actually can remember - the one tip when to go organic: Generally, fruits and veggies with tough skins are the safer ones—they protect the inner flesh from chemicals. 

 For more food tips and recipes, check out my newest book, SNEAKY BLENDS

About the Author

Missy Chase Lapine

Missy Chase Lapine is the NYT bestselling author and creator of the Sneaky Chef cookbooks and foods. Her new book, Sneaky Blends, comes out in September 2016. For more info, visit http://www.thesneakychef.com