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Organic Fruits and Vegetables

Food that is farmed without the use of pesticides, antibiotics or genetically altered organisms.

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10 Fruits & Veggies to Buy Organic When You Can

  • Feb 27, 2009
  • by
Rating:
+5
Would you knowingly feed your family a juicy serving of DDT or a crisp bite of a toxic pesticide? Didn't think so. But many of us unknowingly do this everyday when we serve our family their healthy servings of fresh fruits and vegetables. "But I thought DDT was banned in the US?" You ask. Well, yes- you're right. However , even though uses of DDT and other toxic pesticides have  banned in the US for over 20 years, they can still be absorbed from the soil our fruits and veggies grow in.

And although the traces of these toxins may be minimal in the foods you eat, children (and pregnant women) are in more danger due to the amount the consume and childrens' small body mass. So, please buy certified organic when you can.

Here is a list of 10 fruits and vegetables you should consider always buying organic when feeding them to your family.

Tip: Check your local farmers' market for your produce needs! Their fruits and vegetables typically are pesticide free, cost less, and are more fresh! Bonus: you'll be supporting your local farmers!

Peaches

Summer's blushing fruit contains high residues of iprodione, classified as a probable human carcinogen by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and methyl parathion, an endocrine disruptor and organophosphate (OP) insecticide. Methyl parathion has caused massive kills of bees and birds. According to Consumer Reports, single servings of peaches "consistently exceeded" EPA's safe daily limit for a 44-pound child.

Apples

Apples may contain methyl parathion. Both fresh apples and baby food applesauce can also contain chlorpyrifos, an OP which has caused large bird kills. CORE Values IPM apple growers are trying to phase out OPs.

Pears

Pears, both fresh and in baby food, can also come with methyl parathion, as well as the OP azinphos-methyl, which is toxic to freshwater fish, amphibians and bees.

Winter Squash

Dieldrin, a chlorinated, carcinogenic insecticide, exceeded the safe daily limit for a young child in two-thirds of positive samples. Another potent carcinogen, heptachlor, also showed up. DDT and its breakdown product, DDE, were detected in baby food squash.

Green Beans

Green Beans can contain acephate, methamidophos and dimethoate (three neurotoxic OPs), and endosulfan, an endocrine-disrupting insecticide, which showed up in baby food, too. Acephate disorients migrating birds, throwing them off course.

Grapes

U.S. grapes contain methyl parathion and methomyl, a carbamate insecticide listed as an endocrine disruptor; imports may contain dimethoate.

Strawberries

The enhanced red color of strawberries comes from the fungicide captan, a probable human carcinogen that can irritate skin and eyes, and is highly toxic to fish. While the lethal soil fumigant methyl bromide doesn't show up on the fruit, it has harmed California farm workers, and depletes the ozone layer.

Raspberries

Watch out for more than thorns! These berries can contain captan, iprodione and carbaryl, a suspected endocrine disruptor that has also been found in plum baby food

Spinach

Permethrin, a possible human carcinogen, and dimethoate dominate spinach's toxicity ratings, but CU notes that residue levels have been declining as U.S. farmers reduce use of these insecticides. DDT has been found in spinach, which leads all foods in exceeding safety tolerances.

Potatoes

Pesticide use on potatoes is growing, CU warns. They may contain dieldrin and methamidophos, and children eating potatoes risk getting a very high dose of aldicarb, CU says.

Plus 2 more:

Note: In an update to its 1999 report, Consumers Union announced two more foods high in chlorpyrifos or other pesticide residues: tomatoes and cantaloupe.

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February 27, 2009
Thanks for the list! I definitely need to be better about what items I buy organic and not organic. Ideally everything should be organic, but with this economy it's nice knowing where you really shouldn't get lazy.
 
February 27, 2009
DDT and other chemicals will always be in the soils used to grow produce, unfortunately. It's just a matter of choosing organic so that you're not buying items with even more chemicals added to the soil and the crops themselves. My mom washes her produce in soap & water (no worries, I've never tasted the soap) and apparently that's been shown to remove a lot of toxins as well.
 
February 27, 2009
The way I see it, unless we somehow remove all the soil- and lay down soil that is somehow organically pure- we never really know what is in it. I just figure if we are buying from locally or organically grown crops we are better off. I guess there is no fool-proof answer.
 
February 27, 2009
Thanks for posting. One question: if the DDT and pesticides get into the fruit through the soil,then wouldn't they affect organic produce as well? We buy organic fruit, but your mention of the remnant toxins in the soil got me thinking...thanks
 
February 27, 2009
This information is so useful, thanks for sharing! I used to shop for produce at the local farmers' market when I lived in Davis but have yet to find a good one down here. The good thing about the list you provided is that I've seen all those fruits and veggies being sold, so you won't have to rely on some massive corporate supermarket to sell you these items, either.
 
1
More Organic Food reviews
Quick Tip by . September 02, 2010
posted in Green Living
Did you know that organic food is more nutritious than non-organic?
Quick Tip by . August 23, 2009
I buy organic whenever I have the option....I wish more food products were available organically grown.
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Wiki

Organic foods are made according to certain production standards. For the vast majority of human history, agriculture can be described as organic; only during the 20th century were a large supply of new and often untested synthetic chemicals, touted as improvements, introduced to the food supply. This more recent style of production is referred to as "conventional," though organic production has been the convention for a much greater period of time. Under organic production, the use of conventional non-organic pesticides, insecticides and herbicides is greatly restricted and saved as a last resort. However, contrary to popular belief, certain non-organic fertilizers are still used. If livestock are involved, they must be reared without the routine use of antibiotics and without the use of growth hormones, and generally fed a healthy diet. In most countries, organic produce may not be genetically modified.

Organic food production is a heavily regulated industry, distinct from private gardening. Currently, the European Union, the United States, Canada, Japan and many other countries require producers to obtain special certification in order to market food as "organic" within their borders. Most certifications allow some chemicals and pesticides to be used, so consumers should be aware of the standards for qualifying as "organic" in their respective locales.

Historically, organic farms have been relatively small family-run farms — which is why...

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