By Maryellen Fowler, Providence, RI
We all feel the pressure to buy organic produce. However, some non-organic foods are really safe to eat. We buy organic because the food is lower in pesticides and other environmental impacts. But buying organic foods are often much more expensive. So are there non organic foods that are safe to eat? Yes!
1) Avocados: The creamy fruit has a very thick skin! It is protection from agricultural chemicals. Be sure to thoroughly was the skin prior to peeling.
2) Seafood: The USDA does not provide organic standards for fish and shellfish. Seafood labeled “organic” may not be safer; it still may contain contaminates, such as PCBs and mercury.
3) Onions: According to the Shoppers Guide to Pesticides in Produce, 98% of all non organic onions were pesticide free.
4) Quinoa: Quinoa doesn’t need pesticides, because it has a bitter tasting saponins, making the crop distasteful to pests.
5) Pineapples: The tough spiny skin keeps the fruit from absorbing agricultural chemicals.
6) Sweet Corn: The USDA found no detectable chemicals on all sweet corn samples. This also applies to frozen corn as well!!
7) Maple Syrup: Maple syrup is usually forest harvested. Pesticides are almost always NOT used in forrest harvested foods.
8) Cabbage: Another member of the Environmental Working Group clean 15, cabbage is low in pesticides because of its natural resilience to bugs. Once the outer leaves are peeled, it is safe to cook or eat raw.
9) Mangoes: They have a thick inedible peel. Peeling would remove almost all of any chemicals.
10) Kiwi: Although the skin is edible, you’re better off discarding it if you choose the non-organic route.
Whether you go totally organic or opt to mix conventional and organic foods be sure to follow these tips:
- Select a variety of foods from a variety of sources. - Buy fruits and vegetables in season whenever possible. - Read food labels carefully. - Wash and scrub fresh fruits and vegetable thoroughly under running water.