I will never forget the day my mom told me to wash strawberries. As a typical inquisitive 4 year old, I asked, 'Why?' Because fruit pickers pick their nose was her response. I then washed them - sometimes.

Now as a 31 year old, I buy organic produce which must mean it is free from boogers and by all means, it best be free from pesticides. But as a med student with a wife, two kids and a mortgage, the wallet feels stress when buying organic produce.

Demand has gone up for organic products, especially in Seattle, which has lowered the cost some; but not enough during the rough financial times.

So I find myself wondering which of the non-organic veggies and fruits are the safest to eat? A watermelon looks tough - it has a big thick skin. A juicy thin-skinned peach must be really tasty to bugs so the growers must spray the heck out of it.

This rationale obviously is not fool-proof and did not put me at ease when buying non-organic produce.

What to do? I enrolled in med school, got to the second year nutrition course and found out which are the twelve most pesticide ridden fruits and vegetables. Good plan, Ben. $50,000 later I now know which twelve they are.

Being strapped on cash again, I needed to refresh my memory. In doing so, I thought I may as well benefit the public as well. This information is not new but it definitely may be new to you.

So which are the most toxic? This information is gathered from FoodNews and they gathered the information from the Environmental Working Group

Most Popular Fruits and Vegetables with highest pesticides

  • Apples
  • Bell Peppers
  • Celery
  • Cherries
  • Grapes (imported)
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Potatoes
  • Red Raspberries
  • Spinach
  • Strawberries

So my rationale of thin-skinned produce was not all bad. I would have never guessed potatoes though.

So what to do? Not eat these sprayed fruits and veggies? Pretty much. Definitely do not feed them to your children. The body mass of a child is much less than a fully grown adult. Thus, it does not take many non-organic strawberries to inflict potential harm on a little one. The best method is to buy these twelve organically. If you cannot, then wash them with the pesticide-removing soaps they sell in good stores. There will still be poisons harbored in the produce but diminished at least. You can also peel apples and other produce with skins but then you lose nutrients along with some pesticides. So you may as well then go eat some plastic as it is toxic and has no nutrient value. Organic is the best bet.

Spend your tight dollars on buying these twelve fruits and vegetables organically - or keep them away from your kids.

Now that you've purchased expensive organic strawberries, what are the safest non-organic fruits and vegetables?

Most Popular Fruits and Vegetables with lowest pesticides

  • Asparagus
  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Corn (sweet)
  • Kiwis
  • Onions
  • Mangoes
  • Papaya
  • Pineapples
  • Peas (sweet)

To save you writing all this down, I have provided the option for you to download the FoodNews Wallet Guide. [Adobe file] Cut out the guide and stick it in your wallet. Go shopping without having to guess.

For those of you who want to know the details of the Environmental Working Group's report on Organophosphates Insecticides in Children's Food, click it. The link will allow you to download the 54 page Adobe document from my server.

See the little envelope with an arrow below and to the right. Click it. Fill it out. Help your friends and family members.

Enjoy worry-free shopping. If there is anything that is on your mind, let me know. Ill do my best to anwer your health questions.

In health,
Ben

Author's Bio: 

Graduated from University of Washington with B.Sc. Cell and Molecular Biology. Attending Bastyr University to obtain doctorate in Naturopathic medicine. Married with two boys and feline friend. Founder of HealthE Goods, online natural health store Come visit our Healthy Lifestyle and Wellness Blog which is updated weekly!