15 Foods You Don’t Have to Eat Organic and Why

Every bit of food you put in your body has a story, and that story inevitably transfers itself to your cells, tissues, and organs.

Most synthetic chemical artificial pesticides that children accumulate come from your diet more than your yard. The good news is that even children can clear much of these toxins from their bodies with just a few days of non chemical eating.

Whether vegetables have been grown en masse in mineral-depleted soil or by hand in your own backyard or window box makes a difference in how valuable the food is to your body.

Whether animals have been raised humanely or not, and pumped full of antibiotics as “growth promoters,” is important, too.

The quality of production directly translates to the quality of the food you eat. A primo vitamin package, as important for women near middle age women as for younger women, can be an insurance policy.

Minimizing your exposure to toxins, drugs, and pesticides will not only improve your metabolism and decrease your levels of estrogen. It will also vastly improve your experiences with food—and this will often be immediately clear from the very first bite.

To boost the quality of food you eat, look to farmers’ markets for the best fresh, seasonal produce in your area. Purchase fish, poultry, eggs, and meats that have been sustainably raised, free range, hormone free, and grass fed when possible.

For example, grass-fed beef contains less overall fat and more omega-3s than conventional, which is where the chemical pollutants get stored.

About those omega-3s: DHA is the most important. You can measure DHA in just a drop of breast milk to learn how much brain-building DHA you are giving your baby, and if it’s low, how to optimize it. For breast-feeding women, I recommend a Mother’s Milk DHA Test for Baby: confidential, smart and easy.

The EWG, which prepares a Guide to Pesticides every year, writes in its executive summary:

“The genetically modified crops likely to be found in produce aisles of American supermarkets are zucchini, Hawaiian papaya and some varieties of sweet corn. Most Hawaiian papaya is a GMO. Only a small fraction of zucchini and sweet corn are GMO.”

Buying organic all the time can get costly, so use the guide below to see when it’s most important.

If you buy nonorganic goods, try to purchase them from someone local, and then wash, wash, wash for food safety; peel off the outer skins, when appropriate

These are lowest in pesticides, and OK to buy conventional

  1. Asparagus
  2. Avocados
  3. Cabbage
  4. Cantaloupes
  5. Corn
  6. Eggplant
  7. Grapefruit
  8. Kiwi
  9. Mangoes
  10. Mushrooms
  11. Onions
  12. Papayas
  13. Pineapples
  14. Sweet peas
  15. Sweet potatoes

And if you can, try to buy these Dirty Dozen organic:

  1. Apples
  2. Bell peppers
  3. Celery
  4. Cherry Tomatoes
  5. Cucumbers
  6. Grapes
  7. Hot chilies
  8. Nectarines, imported
  9. Peaches
  10. Potatoes
  11. Spinach
  12. Strawberries

Which vegetables are you making an effort to buy organic? Tell me a story here: do you buy organic for yourself or just for your kids?

Published on: January 08, 2014
About the Author
Photo of John La Puma

John La Puma MD is a best selling author, practicing physician, board-certified in internal medicine, and writes recipes on prescription slips, too. His latest book is REFUEL™ - Dr La Puma's 24-Day Eating Plan to Shed Fat, Boost Testosterone and Pump Up Strength and Stamina.

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