On Pesticides and Buying Organic

By: Mark Scherzer

One of the areas we cover in our wellness program is the importance of learning where food comes from and how it’s grown. This allows us to make informed choices that can lead to better health and a safer environment. We discuss how healthy soil is made up of organic matter and explore methods for controlling bugs without the use of pesticides. A lot of our fruit and vegetables are sprayed with chemicals to keep the insects away, and this practice has health consequences. For instance, there are studies that link exposure to pesticides with ADHD in children. This leads to the obvious question — as parents, what can we do?

Buying produce that’s certified organic is one solution, but that can hurt your wallet. So if you have to limit the amount of organic food you purchase, it’s a good idea to choose the organic version of fruits and veggies that are the most contaminated. They’re called “The Dirty Dozen,” catchy title, right?

Here’s what makes the list:

  • Apples
  • Celery
  • Strawberries
  • Peaches
  • Spinach
  • Nectarines (imported)
  • Grapes (imported)
  • Sweet bell peppers
  • Potatoes
  • Blueberries (domestic)
  • Lettuce
  • Kale / Collard Greens

To save even more money, you can buy them from the frozen food section. They’re just as nutritious and taste great.