Organic or not organic, that is the question. Do you ever wonder if it’s worth stepping on the organic bandwagon or not? In some cases it is, in others not so much. Lets talk about fruit and veg. Some fruit and vegetables are really worth buying the organic version of because of the high amount of pesticide residue on the product. Others have less residue and ok to buy non organic version.
For those of you who haven’t heard about the “Dirty Dozen” it is a list made from the Environmental Working Group, EWG in the US, compiling the produce with the most pesticide residue. It’s updated every year and its meant to give the consumer information of which fruit and vegetables have most pesticides on them and therefore should be buying the organic version instead.
They also provide the list of “Clean Fifteen” which is the opposite: a list of produce that have the least amount of pesticide residue and are safe to eat in non-organic version.
While these lists are all good and serve a purpose, I’ve been following these lists for a few years, it occurred to me that these are based on american produce, not european. Sure, we import a lot, but I certainly try to buy locally sourced food when ever possible so what rules applies over here? Many of the pesticides used in the US are not allowed in the EU.
I did some digging, and it appears that we do have our own version:
It was made up by PAN (Pesticide Action Network) who measured pesticide residue on fruits and vegetables found here in the UK. And sure enough, there are a few differences from the American ‘Dirty Dozen’ and ‘Clean Fifteen’.
Worst fruit: (most pesticide residue):
peaches and nectarines
beans in a pod
peas in a pod
courgettes and marrows
Best fruit: (The least amount of residue and ok to buy non-organic version of)
corn on the cob
There is still the debate on how harmful pesticides really are to the human consumer, and I say this: Better to eat non-organic fruits and vegetables than none at all.
I also think its always better to buy as locally produced food as possible. I’d rather buy locally grown non-organic apples, than organic ones that have travelled from South Africa.
Think air miles.
Local farmers markets are usually a good place to go as well. Another thing that might help if you’re not sure which fruit to buy organic is to think about wether or not you will be eating the skin of the fruit. If you will peal the skin of, like a banana, its usually safer than a fruit like apple, where you will be eating the skin.
Also, grapes show up on both this list and on the DD, so remember to buy your wine organic too.
Hope these lists help you, the savvy shopper, to make wiser choices.