The Environmental Working Group’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides identifies 12 fruits and vegetables with the highest levels of pesticide residues and the 15 with the lowest levels.
I made this cheat-sheet card to carry in my purse. Click on the image to download the PDF printable card (three size cards on one page). Choose a card size to laminate and carry to the grocery store.
Watch your food budget and chemical exposure by selectively buying organic based on the items shown to have the highest levels and lowest levels of pesticide residue.
Another handy chart is by Dr. Joel Furhman, author of Eat to Live, classifying the nutrient density in a variety of foods with 1000 being a perfect score. This is a great reference for the most nutritious foods.
There’s an App For That!
If you prefer a high-tech gadget over a simple card, check out Harvest, an application for the iPhone and iPod Touch.
Harvest tells you how to select and store produce, and indicates pesticide residue levels for each fruit and vegetable.
It includes a full list of pesticide levels from worst to best, so you can see the big picture of how pesticides play out across all produce.
Tips for Produce Selection
Harvest features an elegant collection of intelligent tips and techniques for purchasing the best quality fruits and vegetables. Harvest was developed with deep attention to detail and function. With smooth, snappy browsing and searching, it’s designed for quick referencing.
Tips for Produce Storage
To complete the process, Harvest offers instructions on how to best store and keep your perfect produce selections.
Storing has its own plethora of unobvious tips and tricks. For instance, did you know that garlic is best stored out of the refrigerator, and that fresh corn loses half its sugar content in one day out of refrigeration?
My Personal Opinion
I use a lot of kale and romaine in salads and juicing. These standout leafy greens are jam-packed with vitamins A, C, and K, folate, potassium, magnesium, iron, lutein, and phytochemicals. These super nutritious foods (high on the nutrient chart above) have enough pesticides so that they should be purchased organically.
Which foods do you buy organic?