The FDA and other sources rate contamination of chemicals and pesticides in produce from highest to lowest. Among the highest are apples, peaches, bell peppers, celery, strawberries, cherries, lettuce, imported grapes, peas, spinach and potatoes. The lowest are broccoli, eggplant, cabbage, asparagus, banana, mango, avocado and onions.
But if you have to choose between buying organic vegetables or organic animal products, the most important foods to purchase organically would be animal products first, then vegetable foods. Non-organic meats will have up to five times more pesticides than non-organic vegetables, and butter can have up to 20 times more. Also, it is now common knowledge that non-organic dairy comes from cows treated with bovine growth hormones and antibiotics, all of which end up in their milk.
Furthermore, organic eggs from pastured chickens are far less likely to contain bacteria like salmonella, and the nutrients are significantly higher than in non-organic eggs.
Although buying organic foods can be costly, it is important to consider the payoff of good health versus a health care bill to treat the physical or mental dysfunctions that can result from eating contaminated foods for a lifetime.
- Marcia Williams, ND, CTN, MA