Fruits and veggies are an important choice in a healthy diet, but many contain pesticide residues.  And not all the pesticides used to kill bugs, grubs, or fungus on the farm washes off with water. You can reduce your exposure to pesticides by as much as 80% if you avoiding the most contaminated foods in the grocery store.  Also, it’s important to use produce washing products or other home remedies like salt water, vinegar, or food-grade peroxide.

Here’s a list of foods to buy organic.  Check with your local grocer and see if they will carry organic.  It’s worth the extra expense for the following foods.  Also, you can check with your local co-ops and farmer’s markets.

1. Celery
Celery has no protective skin, which makes it almost impossible to wash off the chemicals.  There are over 60 different chemicals used on crops.

2. Peaches
Multiple pesticides are applied to these delicately skinned fruits in conventional orchards. Can’t find organic? Safer alternatives might be watermelon, tangerines, oranges, and grapefruit.

3. Strawberries
If you buy strawberries, especially out of season, they’re most likely imported from countries that have less-stringent regulations for pesticide use. 50 pesticides have been detected in residue on strawberries. Can’t find organic? Safer alternatives include kiwi and pineapples.

4. Apples
Like peaches, apples are typically grown with poisons to kill a variety of pests, from fungi to insects. Tests have found 42 different pesticides as residue on apples. Scrubbing and peeling doesn’t eliminate chemical residue completely, so it’s best to buy organic when it comes to apples. Peeling a fruit or vegetable also strips away many of their beneficial nutrients. Can’t find organic? Safer alternatives include watermelon, bananas, and tangerines.

Blueberries are treated with as many as 50 pesticides, making them one of the most toxic berries on the market.

Nectarines rank up there with apples and peaches among the worst tree fruit. Can’t find organic? Safer alternatives include, watermelon, papaya, and mango.

Bell peppers
Peppers have thin skins that don’t offer much of a barrier to pesticides. They’re often heavily sprayed with insecticides. Can’t find organic? Safer alternatives include green peas, broccoli, and cabbage.

Spinach can be tainted with as many as 48 different pesticides, making it one of the most contaminated green leafy vegetable.

Traditionally, kale is known as a hardier vegetable that rarely suffers from pests and disease, but it has high amounts of pesticide residues. Can’t find organic? Safer alternatives include cabbage, asparagus, and broccoli.

America’s popular spud can be laced with as many as 37 different pesticides. Can’t find organic? Safer alternatives include eggplant, cabbage, and earthy mushrooms.

Imported grapes run a much greater risk of contamination than those grown domestically.. Vineyards can be sprayed with different pesticides during different growth periods of the grape, and no amount of washing or peeling will eliminate contamination because of the grape’s thin skin. Can’t find organic? Safer alternatives include kiwi and raspberries.

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