17 Fruits and Vegetables That Must Be Organic


Apples are a popular fruit, but unfortunately, they usually rank among the 12 top fruits and vegetables contaminated by pesticides in tests run by the nonprofit Environmental Working Group (EWG) which investigates environmental threats to health. The last EWG report on pesticides in fruits and vegetables concluded that frequently eating these "dirty dozen" fruits and vegetables will expose a person to about 14 pesticides per day, on average.

Blueberries: Every year, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) publishes its list of the “dirty dozen” fruits and vegetables on its food-focused site, www.foodnews.org. According to the EWG, these 12 foods are most likely to be contaminated with pesticides – and worth shelling out the extra money to buy organic.  The bottom line: Buy organic if you prefer—and if you can afford it (it’s always a good choice to buy locally and organic if you can). But don’t miss out blueberries because you feel you must have organic. Whether you buy organic or conventionally grown berries, wash them well before eating, and enjoy their taste and potential health benefits.

Carrots: I recommend buying carrots that are grown organically whenever possible, especially when you are using them to make carrot juice. Root crops, such as carrots, grow in the soil and are able to absorb whatever toxins and pesticides are present in the soil.

Celery juice has been shown in laboratory studies to  reduce LDL (Bad) cholesterol. Butyl phthalide, which is one of the components that gives celery its distinctive smell has a hand in this as well as other components yet to be completely discovered. Celery juice also helps to remove cholesterol from the body, as it aids in increasing bile acid secretion.  Organic celery is preferred when juicing since the celery skin is also juiced.

Chard: a great source of vitamin K, A and C, and is a wonderful cauldron of potassium, magnesium, iron and fiber. It is high in antioxidants, making it another great super food. Oh, and it’s low in calories. A single serving is merely 35 calories, yet contains more than 300% of your daily vitamin K needs. It is also rich in a multitude of B-complex vitamins, including a lot of ones I cannot pronounce.

Collard Greens: We get unique health benefits from collard greens in the form of cancer protection. The cancer-preventive properties of collard greens may be largely related to 4 specific glucosinolates found in this cruciferous vegetable: glucoraphanin, sinigrin, gluconasturtiian, and glucotropaeolin. Each of these glucosinolates can be converted into an isothiocyanate (ITC) that helps lower our cancer risk by supporting our detox and anti-inflammatory systems.

Cucumbers: Considered one of the dirty dozen fruits and vegetables by Dr. Andrew Weil,  keep in mind that maintaining your family's health is not the only reason to choose organic food. Pesticide and herbicide use contaminates groundwater, ruins soil structures and promotes erosion, and may be a contributor to "colony collapse disorder," the sudden and mysterious die-off of pollinating honeybees that threatens the American food supply. Buying or growing organic food is good for the health of the planet.

Grapes are a tasty low-calorie snack or dessert. One cup has about 104 calories and is packed with vitamins C and K. Raisins (dried grapes) are also a good source of iron. Try to avoid imported grapes, which often have higher pesticide residues. But don't eliminate grapes from your diet if you can't always buy organic. Consider buying organic grapes for children and if you're pregnant.

Ginger's key health benefits are so important, we couldn’t earnestly recommend anyone skip it in their diet, or go cheap and bypass the organic (or perhaps better, local/homegrown source).  These amazing health benefits include fighting/preventing cancer, easing nausea and menstrual pain, aiding digestion, alleviating arthritis and headaches and more.

Kale: Leafy green vegetables have the highest vibration energy of any food on the planet, as they literally contain the energy of the sun in the form of chlorophyll. By harnessing the energy of chlorophyll in our bodies, we can increase the flow of oxygen (which is incredibly alkalizing) to all parts of the body, which means we will release more carbon dioxide and toxins for elimination.

Nectarine: This juicy fruit is rich in vitamins A and C, niacin, and potassium. An average-sized nectarine has about 65 calories. Scrub or remove the peel to help reduce pesticide residues.

Peaches: The Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit organization in Washington, DC, recommends going organic on produce that is most susceptible to pesticide residue, like peaches.

Pears: A medium-sized pear contains about 103 calories and is a good source of vitamin C and fiber. But pears often have higher pesticide residues than many other fruits. It's a good idea to scrub a pear's skin to reduce pesticide residue and bacteria, even in organic pears.

Peppers are among those vegetables with higher pesticide residues. But government limits set safe levels of pesticide use and residue allowed on foods, organic or not. Although some pesticide levels are assumed to be safe, the chemicals used are strong. Because kids' immune systems may not be fully developed, they may be at greater risk from some pesticides than adults.

Potatoes are a good organic purchase, especially since most conventional potatoes are pesticide-intensive crops. They are a good source of vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium, manganese, and fiber. A medium-sized baked potato contains around 161 calories, without the fixings.

Strawberries are a great source of vitamin C. And while buying organic berries may give you a lot of bang for your organic buck, you may also want to consider buying local. Locally grown foods are usually fresher, and kinder to the environment, than produce that's traveled a long way to your store.

Spinach is a great source of protein, vitamins A, C, E, and K, thiamine, riboflavin, vitamin B6, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, and manganese. It's got about 7 calories a cup. Lettuce has about 5 calories per cup. But they also have high levels of pesticide residue. Buy organic or grow your own (greens do well even in large patio containers).

Understand Organic Terms

When buying organic products, look for the following terms on food labels:

"100% organic" -- All ingredients must be certified organic.

"Organic" -- This means the food has at least 95% certified organic ingredients.

"Made with organic ingredients" -- This means the food must contain at least 70% certified organic ingredients.

© Stoop Juice 2012