Fruits And Vegetables You Should Always Buy Organic

Some fruits and vegetables are harmful due to pesticide use

Organic food has been gaining popularity lately, thanks to increasing consumer awareness of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. However, since it’s pricier than conventional food, you might not always buy organic. Or maybe the season affects your decision. But what you need to know is this: some conventional fruits and veggies are more likely to have synthetic pesticide residue than the others.

Pesticides are used to control pests and germs, helping crops thrive. What’s worrisome is that these chemicals can also harm humans, creating a tricky situation. To make things worse, the safety precautions taken with pesticide use are unclear and controversial.1 So, why take the risk? If you don’t always buy organic, be smart with your choices.


The Environmental Working Group (EWG) created a report/list called the “Dirty Dozen,” which features the top 12 foods that are most likely to be contaminated with pesticides. The report was based on tests by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which used 36,000 samples of 48 different kinds of conventional produce.2 Based on this, here’s a countdown of the 12 foods that are most likely to have pesticides, from the least to the greatest.

Foods That Need To Be Organic

12. Potatoes

Potatoes grown with pesticides can be harmful to your health


In the United States, potatoes are widely consumed. But they also make the list of the most contaminated foods! To enjoy this American staple, buy organic or choose sweet potato, which isn’t a part of the list.

11. Sweet Bell Peppers

Preferably buy all types of sweet bell peppers organic


Do you like bell peppers? Skip the conventional kind. The EWG doesn’t indicate a specific color, so play it safe and buy organic red, orange, yellow, and green bell peppers.

10. Tomatoes

Tomatoes can ruin your health with the use of pesticides


From pasta sauce to ketchup, tomatoes are a huge part of the American diet. Because of this, it’s always best to buy organic, even if you’re looking at commercial sauces. Better yet, make your own with organic tomatoes.

9. Celery

Eating celery can unknowingly inject pesticides into your system


Celery doubles as a nutritious, easy snack. It’s also a classic ingredient on veggie party platters. To limit your risk for pesticide exposure, skip conventional celery.

8. Grapes

Grapes can be harmful if grown using pesticides


Grapes call for little to no prep work. Just pick and eat! But if you buy conventional grapes, you’ll get a side of synthetic chemicals.

7. Cherries

Cherries do not benefit your health when grown with pesticides


Cherries are sweet, tart, and highly likely to have pesticide residues. Consider picking your own cherries at an organic farm. Otherwise, buy from a local producer.

6. Pears

Most farm-grown pears contain a load of pesticides

Once upon a time, pears were 22nd on the list of contaminated foods. In the new 2017 report, they jumped up to sixth place. The pesticide residues on pears have more than doubled since 2010, going from 9 to 20 per pear sample.3

5. Peaches

Peaches score high on the list of fruits grown using pesticides

Peaches are juicy and delicious, but they’re likely to be contaminated. More than 98 percent of the samples tested had at least one pesticide.4 To avoid these chemicals, choose organic options even when buying canned goods.

4. Apples

Look for organically grown apples

An apple a day keeps the doctor away… if it’s organic. As the fourth most contaminated food, apples are high up on the list. Keep this in mind if you love this tasty fruit.

3. Nectarines

Nectarines are usually grown with the help of pesticides

Like peaches, nectarines are high up on the list. The two are closely related, with the absence of fuzzy skin being the only difference. To safely enjoy nectarines, go organic.

2. Spinach

Washing might not remove all pesticides from spinach

Conventional spinach is the second most contaminated food. In fact, of all the samples tested, three-fourths had a neurotoxic bug killer that’s banned in Europe. Thorough washing will remove some – but not all – of the pesticides.5

1. Strawberries

Strawberries are the most harmful fruits with maximum pesticide content

Strawberries steal the first place as the most contaminated food. While most produce has 2.3 different pesticides, in 2014 and 2015, strawberries had 7.7! That’s more than thrice as much. And many of these stick around even after rinsing and washing.6 If there’s only one food that you buy organic, always make it strawberries.