14 Must-Buy Organic Foodsby Lindsay Hutton
Pesticides help protect crops by warding off damaging weeds, diseases, and bugs, but they also leave a residue on our produce. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, certain fruits and vegetables consistently carry much higher levels of pesticide residue than others, even after washing. Originally dubbed "The Dirty Dozen," the list of the top offenders has grown to 14 fruits and vegetables. Researchers at the nonprofit Environmental Working Group (EWG) recommend avoiding pesticide residue by choosing organic versions of these 14 foods. Print out our handy list to take along with you to the grocery store.
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The EWG found that 98 percent of tested apples were contaminated. Even peeling a conventional apple won't completely eliminate chemical residue, so it's best to buy organic. The two types of fiber in apples — soluble and insoluble — can reduce cholesterol levels and the risk of hardening of the arteries, heart attack, and stroke. Apples also keep blood sugar levels stable, and can help prevent kidney stones. Bonus: You'll find that organic apples taste sweeter than conventionally grown.