Organic vs. Conventional Foods: Do We Always Need to Buy Organic?

James R. CoffeyStarred Page By James R. Coffey, 26th Aug 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Health>Diet & Nutrition

Do we always need to choose "organic" when buying fruits and vegetables? A July 2009 article in Eating Well Magazine says, maybe not.

Going "organic"

With a growing number of people across the country making health and diet their #1 priority, many are discovering that eating organically can be quite costly–and even exceed their budgets.

But, organic foods are said to have less exposure to pesticides and contain more of the vitamins and minerals every healthy diet should include, but is it necessary to always buy organic fruits and vegetables? Is there wiggle room?

Well, according to a July, 2009 article published in EatingWell Magazine, not all conventionally grown fruits and vegetables are harmful to your health.

Conventionally grown choices

Eating Well associate editor Brierley Wright, M.S., R.D. who holds a master’s degree in Nutrition Communication from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University has compiled a list of foods that according to recent studies truly need to be bought "organic," as well as those that can be skimped on and bought "conventional" at your local market or fruit stand.

Here are 15 fruits and vegetables she identifies as least likely to be contaminated with pesticide residues:

  • 1) Asparagus (fresh)
  • 2) Avocado (fresh)
  • 3) Broccoli (fresh)
  • 4) Cabbage (fresh)
  • 5) Eggplant (fresh)
  • 6) Kiwi (fresh)
  • 7) Mango (fresh)
  • 8) Onions (fresh)
  • 9) Papaya (fresh)
  • 10) Pineapple (fresh)
  • 11) Sweet corn (frozen)
  • 12) Sweet peas (frozen)
  • 13) Sweet potatoes (fresh)
  • 14) Tomatoes (fresh)
  • 15) Watermelon (fresh)

Need for organic

Brierley also identifies 12 fruits and vegetables that are most likely to have higher trace amounts of pesticides:

  • 1) Apples (fresh)
  • 2) Carrots (fresh)
  • 3) Celery (fresh)
  • 4) Cherries (fresh)
  • 5) Grapes (imported)
  • 6) Kale (fresh)
  • 7) Lettuce (fresh)
  • 8) Nectarines (fresh)
  • 9) Peaches (fresh)
  • 10) Pears (fresh)
  • 11) Sweet bell peppers (fresh)
  • 12) Strawberries (fresh)

A matter of nutrition

While medical and nutritional studies indicate that we should all eat organic fruits and vegetables whenever possible, these data could mean big savings for all the health-conscious–and help keep us on the healthy track even when our budgets are limited.

In addition to the organic/conventional option, most current sources also suggest buying fruits and vegetables that are in season in your geographic area rather than imported (green and frozen) to receive maximum nutrients and lessen consumer cost.

Consumers should also be aware that although the US Government passed laws in 2000--2002 regulating the definition of "organic," the term organic still has different applications and definitions across the country--and are virtually non-existent elsewhere in the world.

(This article is not necessarily an endorsement of the information provided by EatingWell Magazine, and is no reflection on those companies who use the "Organic Ingredients" Logo.)

Eating Well Magazine
Organic Trade Organization

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Eating Healthy, Fruits, Fruits And Vegetables, Health Foods, Healthy Lifestyle, Nutrition, Organic, Vegetables, Vegetarianism, Vitamins And Minerals

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author avatar James R. Coffey
I am founder and head writer for James R. Coffey Writing Services and Resource Center @ where I offer a variety of writing and research services including article composition, ghostwriting, editing...(more)

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author avatar Denise O
28th Aug 2010 (#)

Thank you for this article, very informative.

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author avatar James R. Coffey
28th Aug 2010 (#)

It's always my pleasure to inform people how to live more healthy lives!

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author avatar Thestickman
8th Feb 2011 (#)

I am a bit surprised. I would have thought that 'organic' would always be better. Glad to know that this is not the whole story..

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