You’ve been hearing the same recommendation for years: Eat more fruit and vegetables. This is solid advice, but a trip to the local supermarket or farmers market might lead to more questions beyond simply whether to bake those berries into a pie or enjoy them raw. (Hint: Pies are delicious, but raw fruit offers natural sweetness with no added sugar.)
On one side, there’s the organic produce: smaller, possibly misshapen, and more expensive. On the other side, there are bountiful baskets of non-organic produce that look pretty tempting — especially when they’re on sale. But will all the health benefits still register if you choose non-organic? Or are you subjecting yourself and your family to deadly invisible pesticides in an effort to save a buck?
The answer is it depends. The Environmental Working Group releases a list each year of fruits and veggies you should always buy organic. Those are known as “The Dirty Dozen,” thanks to their high likelihood of exposure to and absorption of pesticides. On the other end of the spectrum, the group recommends if you’re going to choose non-organic, you should look at “The Clean 15.” These fruits and vegetables might contain trace amounts of pesticides, but overall they’re not very harmful and worth buying non-organic.
So save your cash, and read on for the 15 fruits and vegetables you don’t really need to buy organic.
1. Sweet corn
Good news: Your beloved corn on the cob is safe, thanks in part to that thick protective husk you spend so much time shucking. In fact, corn was the cleanest of the clean, with less than 1% of all tested samples showing any trace of pesticides, according to the Environmental Working Group.
Take heed, though, that most corn is grown with controversial GMO seeds. So buy organic if that’s something you’re trying to avoid.