Now, it's important to remember that if you aren't buying organic every time, you are still going to get some chemicals in your food. Pesticides and fertilizers do, minimally, enter in to all plants they are used on. However, some plants are simply not sprayed as much as others and those with thick or removable skins will contain MUCH less chemicals than those where you are going to consume the skins.
A few good basic rules for buying are -
If you eat the skin, buy organic! No matter how much you wash it, you won't wash off all the chemicals!
It's also very important to wash those foods where you are going to be removing the skins! As you cut in to produce, the chemicals and dirt from the skins are introduced to the inner layers, so make sure to wash even thick skinned fruits and veggies very well before cutting!
If it's imported, organic is a safer option. Many countries where food is imported from does not have the same regulations as we do on chemicals, fertilizers and pesticides. So even though NONE of these things are healthy, the ones used in other countries may actually be MORE harmful than those used here.
The Dirty Dozen
These are fruits and veggies you need to make sure you are ALWAYS buying organically! They are heavily sprayed and thin or no skinned, so you are actually going to be eating the chemicals first hand!
- Bell Peppers
- Kale/Collard Greens
The Clean Fifteen
Now, for the good news. Not ALL items in the produce section are dangerous. Although, as I said before, it's always best to buy organic, these options are not generally as heavily sprayed, or have removable outer skins.
- Sweet Corn
- Sweet Peas
- Egg Plant
- Sweet Potatoes