631-500-9021 | 50 Station Road, Building 3 Unit 1, Water Mill, NY 11976
631-500-9021 | 50 Station Road, Building 3 Unit 1, Water Mill, NY 11976

An easy guide to which foods need to be bought organic and which ones are safe to purchase conventionally.

2019 was groundbreaking year for the recognition of the potential harm that pesticides can do to our bodies. In 2015 the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Round-Up as “probably” causing cancer, but it wasn’t until 2018 that the first landmark case was won against Monsanto for their popular pesticide. The case, brought by cancer patient and groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson, won him a settlement of $289 million dollars. As of October of this year the number of personal injury cases against Monsanto have ballooned to 42,700. Monsanto, now a Bayer company, is estimated to pay out much as $20 billion dollars in settlements over the next few years.

What do we learn from this? Don’t eat foods that have been sprayed with pesticides! Every year the Environmental Working Group (EWG) publishes their Shoppers Guide to Pesticides in Produce. Here is there guide of the 47 most popular produce ranked in order from the most pesticides used to the least. The more pesticides that are used, the more important it is to purchase the organic version of that item and vice versa. Of course it is always better to buy organic (and local when possible)  in order to support the organic farmers, but there are some items (like avocados) that you can save your dollars on.


Always Buy Organic

 1.     Strawberries

2.     Spinach

3.     Kale

4.     Nectarines

5.     Apples

6.     Grapes

7.     Peaches

8.     Cherries

9.     Pears

10.  Tomatoes

11.  Celery

12. Potatoes



25.  Snap peas

26.  Carrots

27.  Oranges

28.  Zucchini

29.  Mangoes

30.  Bananas

31.  Sweet potatoes

32.  Watermelons

33.  Honey melons

34.  Mushrooms

35.  Broccoli

36.  Cantaloupe

Better to Buy Organic


13.  Sweet bell peppers

14.  Cherry tomatoes

15.  Lettuce

16.  Cucumbers

17.  Blueberries

18.   Hot peppers

19.   Plums

20.   Green beans

21.   Tangerines

22.  Raspberries

23.  Grapefruit

24.  Winter squash



Safe to Purchase Conventional Variety

 37.  Cauliflower

38.  Cabbages

39.  Kiwi

40.  Asparagus

41.  Eggplants

42.  Papaya+

43.  Onions

44.   Sweet peas (frozen)

45.  Pineapple

46.  Sweet corn+

47.  Avocados

+must be non-GMO

By Tapp Francke-Ingolia

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