What produce should I buy organic?

The must have organic produce list has been updated for 2010 based on 100,000 pesticide residue tests.  Some of the previous items on the list are no longer there, so make sure you keep this list handy next time you go shopping.

Should you buy only organic fruits and vegetables? It depends on your budget.

Buying only Organic fruit & vegetables can quickly overwhelm the household budget, but certain items should be organic when feeding children. I would stick to buying organic for produce that has the highest pesticide residue, as research has shown that exposure to pesticide either during pregnancy or early childhood can have a long term impact on health.

It has also been found that eating 5 items from the high pesticide list (aka Dirty Dozen) consume about 10 pesticides daily vs. eating from the lowest pesticide index where you consume about 2 pesticides.

So update your shopping list to know which produce to buy organically.

MUST Buy Organic (Highest Pesticide index) Lowest in pesticides (SAVE Money – Don’t need to buy Organic)
1.       Celery 1.       Onions
2.       Peaches 2.       Avocado
3.       Strawberries 3.       Sweet Corn
4.       Apples 4.       Pineapple
5.       Blueberries 5.       Mangos
6.       Nectarines 6.       Sweet Peas
7.       Bell Peppers 7.       Asparagus
8.       Spinach 8.       Kiwi
9.       Kale 9.       Cabbage
10.   Cherries 10.   Eggplant
11.   Potatoes 11.   Cantaloupe
12.   Grapes (imported) 12.   Watermelon
13.   Grapefruit
14.   Sweet Potato
15.   Honeydew Melon

My husband said “Potatoes? But they are so cheap!”, when he saw this list. I told him about Michael Pollan’s book, Omnivore’s Dilemma,  where he writes about this chemical Monitor they put on potatoes to control bugs, which is so toxic, that no one goes on the farm for 5 days after they apply the chemical no matter what happens on the farm.  This chemical is extremely toxic to the nervous system.  Once the chemical fades then it is good for consumption. Makes me wonder if McDonald’s fries are organic..NOT!

Notice how some of the most popular fruits children eat such as strawberries, blueberries, nectarines and apples are on this list? Definitely buy these organic.

Other articles you may like:

4 ways to reduce pesticide exposure in children

How to buy seasonal fruits and vegetables?

The flashier the presentation – the more fruits children eat


  1. Shane Shaps says:

    Thank you so much for this post. I can’t stop passing it around. I’ve re-FB’d it and re-tweeted it. I found it through Weelicious. Thanks so much. Great list.

  2. Alexa says:

    What about tomatoes and things like squash?

  3. Rashmi says:

    Tomato is closer to the low pesticide spectrum (#21 out of #49 most popular fruits and veggies). Tomato’s pesticide index is around 48 out of a max 100, so your call on whether to buy organic or not.

    As for squash. Winter squash is #18 in terms of lowest pesticide so you are probably okay with not buying organic. However, summer squash is #31 out of 49 fruits and veggies so it is higher on the pesticide index – buy organic here.

    Here’s a link to the full list:

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