For many years I have chosen local and seasonal over organic, but based on the data, it seems like these need to work together. The EWG (Environmental Working Group) has been putting out a list of the foods with the most pesticides since 1995, the current list gives us the following information. EWG Shoppers Guide - You can get the guide at this website.
My decision, even though I want to support local farmers, I can't do that and ignore what I'm putting in my own body. I'll buy what I can in Utah in summer, but it looks like my trips to SLC in winter are going to include a cooler. I'll be buying many vegetables and fruits outside of (carrots, celery, spinach, and apples - the only ones I can get in Green River) at Whole Foods 2 1/2 hours away.
Dirty Dozen: The foods with the highest amounts of pesticides that you should buy organic or probably not eat.
- Celery (What does dirty mean? 2,953 celery pieces were sampled. 95% tested positive with detectable pesticides and some samples had up to 13 different pesticides on them!)
- Bell Peppers
- Grapes (Imported)
The Clean 15: The foods that always have very low pesticide rates and are safe to eat non organic.
- Onions (What does safe mean? 1,482 onions were sampled and only .20% were found to have pesticides and no more than 1 pesticide was found on the sample.)
- Sweet Corn
- Sweet Peas
- Sweet Potato
- Honeydew Melon
To end on an upbeat note, I went through a phase a couple years ago of trying a new different fruit or vegetable each week and Figs came out as my favorite. If you haven't tried real, fresh figs pay the money and "just do it"! These were my last figs of the summer and I'd already eaten 1/2 the container when I took the picture. Shhhhh, don't tell Joe, because I probably won't share!