Organic, or not?

I know the whole organic battle is hard for me to understand sometimes. Especially when you take into consideration the miles these organic fruits are driven in from around the country in comparison to buying local from your community. Well, that and the financial costs of organic fruits and veggies. I talked a little bit about the benefits of buying local some time ago.

The Environmental Working Group did some studies on pesticides and while the full effects of pesticides are unknown (much like parabens), there is growing concern in the scientific community about the build up of the chemicals in our bodies, especially during pregnancy. The scary thing is that washing and rinsing does not remove the chemicals from these fruits and veggies. This fruits and veggies on this list were evaluated after they were rinsed and peeled as a normal consumer would prepare them. I thought that this list was good to help educate us on which fruits and veggies we could eat more freely without worrying about contamination, even if you choose not to buy organic.

Highest in Pesticides

These 12 popular fresh fruits and vegetables are consistently the most contaminated with pesticides—buy these organic.

Bell Peppers
Grapes (imported)
Red Raspberries

Lowest in Pesticides

These 12 popular fresh fruits and vegetables consistently have the lowest levels of pesticides.

Corn (sweet)
Peas (sweet)

Update: Ellie brought up a good point about local organic produce delivery services. I found some information about them at this website for the Austin Farmers’ Market that also lists the local markets in all areas of Austin. It could be a good resource if you’re in Austin and looking to buy local and organic. 🙂


  1. elliek
    Posted August 1, 2008 at 8:51 am | Permalink | Reply

    That’s a good list to have. I’ve been thinking how great it would be to be part of a program where local farmers deliver a basket of their produce every week (I’ve heard of some people that do this), but right now I haven’t found one that will work for us. The farmer’s market is so far away that I just can’t make it happen right now. Maybe after we move I’ll find a place so we can do a better job of buying local and buying what is actual in season. (I’m bummed about potatoes being on that list 😦

  2. Posted August 1, 2008 at 9:00 am | Permalink | Reply

    Yeah – I would like to join a produce delivery service like that as well.

    There are a few places to get organic from local farmers in north Austin. Here’s a list of all of the markets near Austin. Maybe something on there could work for you! It looks like that site also has a listing of who does the delivery services. I’ll look into and see which ones would be cheapest and most worthwhile. . .

  3. Posted August 1, 2008 at 10:16 am | Permalink | Reply

    We are part of a CSA (Community Shared Agriculture) that’s organically locally grown food. I was so excited to be a part of it, but actually have been a little disappointed. Granted, we’ve had a difficult summer here in the midwest, so that’s been a part of the reason (though not all).

    I am a little jealous of those you live in southern regions as they are able to have great food all year round. We get three months of good weather here, so unless we’re stocking up now (which we’re trying to do this summer), it’s impossible to get locally grown food all year round.

    Still, I agree locally grown food has a certain taste that doesn’t compare to anything else. YUMMMMMM.

  4. Elizabeth
    Posted August 1, 2008 at 10:17 am | Permalink | Reply

    We are definitely lucky to have so much local food year round. I remember going to my mother-in-law’s house for Christmas last year and she had pulled fresh spinach out of her garden for a dinner salad! It was delicious!

    The downside to the southern regions are the blaring heat summers. It get’s stinking hot and stays hot for so long! I think Austin is currently on their way to break a record of consecutive over 100 degree weather days in a row. But, we are local to Texas so we survive the heat without too much complaining. 🙂

  5. Posted August 1, 2008 at 2:20 pm | Permalink | Reply

    this is getting hard to keep up with. …I’m gonna go grab a frozen dinner now. :-/

  6. Posted August 2, 2008 at 1:21 pm | Permalink | Reply

    a good rule of thumb i’ve always heard is that if you eat the peel, consider buying organic. berries, tomatoes, etc etc. it makes a lot of sense, when you think about the fact that the peels/skins are directly exposed to pesticide sprays – and you can never wash all of the residue off. 😦

2 Trackbacks

  1. By How To Be a Localvore, Vol. I « iPoo on August 2, 2008 at 3:04 pm

    […] No place to garden, no local farm to buy from?  Check out local farmer’s markets (check out Elizabeth’s post for a comprehensive list!), or be aware of labels as you’re shopping at the grocery store. […]

  2. […] sustainable eating, vinegar |   I’ve talked about the Organic vs Non-Organic dilemma a couple of times on my blog. I know buying organic is expensive and sometimes not as environmentally friendly as […]

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