Which Produce Is Worth Buying Organic? 

Which Produce Is Worth Buying Organic.png__PID:330b95e9-3690-4569-b1d4-1db08d189aa8

At this point, it should be known that maintaining clear skin isn’t just about what you put on your face—it’s about what you put in your body. The foods we consume often contain endocrine-disrupting pesticides that can throw off hormonal balance and lead to frustrating breakouts. Buying organic products, especially fruits and vegetables, is a great way to minimize your exposure to these potentially harmful substances. But let's face it, organic food is expensive, and for many of us, an entirely organic grocery haul just isn't possible. So which fruits and veggies are actually worth buying organic, and which aren’t?

Each year, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) releases its Dirty Dozen list, highlighting the twelve fruits and vegetables most contaminated with pesticides. The EWG analyzes data from tests conducted by the Department of Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration on 47,510 samples of 46 fruits and vegetables. This year, the EWG determined that 75% of all conventional fresh produce sampled had residues of potentially harmful pesticides. For items on the Dirty Dozen list, a whopping 95% of samples contain pesticides. So when it comes to buying organic, the fruits and veggies on this list are the ones you're going to want to prioritize for healthy hormones and skin. 

The Dirty Dozen

• Strawberries
• Spinach
• Kale, collard & mustard greens
• Grapes
• Peaches
• Pears
• Nectaries
• Apples
• Peppers
• Cherries
• Blueberries
• Green beans

FACT #1: Strawberries, spinach, and kale are almost always top offenders on this list. They usually contain about double the amount of pesticides as other produce. 

FACT #2: Produce samples are properly cleaned (by peeling or scrubbing) before testing. That means, 95% of these samples contained pesticides, even after washing.     

FACT #3: Organic produce is sprayed with pesticides, but they are USDA-approved pesticides that can be washed off. Non-organic produce is grown with pesticides that can't be washed off. 

Here's the bright side: The EWG also releases an annual Clean Fifteen list, highlighting the fruits and vegetables that are the least contaminated by pesticides. This is where there's a bit more flexibility. Choosing organic versions of these foods isn't as important when it comes to avoiding pesticides. In fact, conventional options for items on this list is a great way to save money while still minimizing your exposure to harmful chemicals.

The Clean Fifteen

• Avocados
• Sweet corn
• Pineapple
• Onions
• Papaya
• Sweet peas
• Asparagus
• Honeydew melon
• Kiwi
• Cabbage
• Watermelon
• Mushrooms
• Mangoes
• Sweet Potatoes
• Carrots    

FACT #1: Most of these items have a hard exterior, which helps to impede chemicals from penetrating into the areas that we eat.

Fact #2: Cabbage (and certain other veggies like cauliflower) contains natural gases that repel insects, meaning they're usually sprayed much less than other produce. 

FACT #3: Pesticides on asparagus are usually concentrated at the root of the veggie. This woody base is broken off before cooking, leaving the asparagus much safer for consumption. 

By being aware of the most and least contaminated fruits and vegetables, and opting for organic alternatives when it makes sense, you can reduce your pesticide exposure (and grocery expense), and ultimately better support your body's hormones and skin.

So, next time you're out grocery shopping, and deciding whether it's really worth buying those organic strawberries or avocados, you can easily reference these lists and make the decision making process a little easier. 

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