12 Best Bets for Buying Organic

  • Woman holding peach
    Perfect Peaches
    These popular summer fruits are a great source of vitamin C. Organic peaches, like other organic produce, are grown without using chemical fertilizers. Choose peaches that have firm, fuzzy skins. If they aren't yet ripe, store them in a paper bag at room temperature.

  • red-apples
    Amazing Apples
    The apple, in all its varieties, is the second most popular fruit, behind the banana. The meat of the apple contains soluble fiber and a good dose of vitamin C. Organic orchards grow apples without the use of most conventional pesticides, which may pose health risks for infants and children.

  • Beautiful Bell Peppers
    Beautiful Bell Peppers
    Yellow, red, orange, or green—choose bell peppers with skins that are tight, not wrinkled. Keep them refrigerated and use within five days. Bell peppers are fat and cholesterol free and high in vitamin C. Peppers with the brightest colors harbor the most antioxidants. Conventionally grown bell peppers were third highest on the list of pesticide contamination ranked by the Environmental Working Group.

  • celery, veggies, vegetable, food, snack, green
    Crisp Celery
    What would a veggie hors d'oeuvre tray be without celery? Choose straight, rigid stalks with a fresh, not musty smell. When cut up, they are a perfect partner with hummus or peanut butter—or your favorite dip. Celery provides a healthy dose of vitamin C; celery leaves pack a punch of vitamin A.

  • Nifty Nectarines
    Nifty Nectarines
    Did you know that the nectarine is really a peach--minus the fuzz? Like regular peaches, nectarines can be ripened in a paper bag at room temperature. Although organic nectarines have less pesticide contamination than conventionally grown versions, you should still wash them under cold, running water. That goes for other fruits and vegetables, as well.

  • fruit smoothie
    Succulent Strawberries
    Strawberries are rich in vitamin C and folate, a B vitamin. For a refreshing summer beverage, freeze whole, washed, and hulled strawberries, then blend with orange juice. Fresh strawberries are quite perishable. They are best if used in one to three days.

  • Handful of cherries
    Cherries to Cherish
    Yes, cherries are fabulous in pies, but don't pass up the chance to eat them fresh. Choose cherries that are firm with their stems still attached. They are a good source of both vitamin C and potassium—and they will keep for up to 10 days in the fridge.

  • Curly Kale
    Curly Kale
    Kale is in the cabbage family and chock-full of nutrients: vitamins A and C, calcium, and potassium! If you haven't cooked with kale, here's a quick dinner that will serve as an excellent introduction. Slice and cook potatoes until tender; remove the tough stems on kale and chop the rest; add the chopped kale and sliced low-fat turkey sausage to the potatoes. Cook until the kale is tender and the sausage is done.

  • Cropped image of man serving salad to woman holding plate
    Leafy Lettuce
    This salad bowl favorite is low in calories, with no fat or cholesterol. It's also a good source of vitamin A and folate. Rinse the leaves under cold, running water and dry them on paper towels. The leaves will keep, refrigerated in a plastic bag, for about a week.

  • Great Grapes
    Great Grapes
    The concord grape is the only grape native to this country, but many other varieties--and colors--are available. Grapes are a perfect snack. A medium bunch (about 50 grapes) equals about 1-1/2 cups of fruit.

  • Colorful Carrots
    Colorful Carrots
    A crisp, crunchy carrot cut up is a great snack, an excellent source of vitamin A and not too shabby on vitamin C. Store carrots with their tops removed; they will keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. To clean carrots before eating, use a scrub brush or a weak dilution of dish soap.

  • Pleasing Pears
    Pleasing Pears
    Choose pears that are firm, then allow them to ripen in a paper bag at room temperature. The fruit is ready to eat when the stem end yields to gentle pressure. Bite into a pear and you'll be getting plenty of fiber and vitamin C.

12 Best Bets for Buying Organic
  1. Pesticides and Food: Why Children May Be Especially Sensitive to Pesticides. Environmental Protection Agency, 2008. http://www.epa.gov/opp00001/food/pest.htm
  2. Setting Tolerances for Pesticide Residues in Foods. Environmental Protection Agency, 2008. http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/factsheets/stprf.htm
  3. Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides. Environmental Working Group. http://www.foodnews.org/EWG-shoppers-guide-download-final.pdf
  4. Methodology. Environmental Working Group. http://www.foodnews.org/methodology.php
  5. Save on Organics: Get More for Your Money. Consumers Union, 2008. http://www.greenerchoices.org/products.cfm?product=organicsmoney&pcat=food
  6. The Appeal of the Peel. Consumers Union, 2007. http://www.greenerchoices.org/products.cfm?product=theappe&pcat=food
  7. Organic Production/Organic Food: Information Access Tools. National Agricultural Library. U.S. Department of Agriculture. http://www.nal.usda.gov/afsic/pubs/ofp/ofp.shtml
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Last Review Date: 2019 Jun 5
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