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Advice Column: Organic Food

By Noor H. Salem, tmoquestions@gmail.com

Question:  I’m getting very confused when it comes to buying organic food, especially vegetables. Can you provide me with advice.

Noor Salem


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With our growing market and superstores, it’s no surprise that it could get confusing when deciding what to put on your plate and what to keep on the store shelves. My first advice is, when it comes to packaged food if it says organic on the label don’t easily fall for it. Many companies take advantage of the word “organic” “all natural” etc. When shopping for fruits and vegetables many have heavy amounts of pesticides and chemicals, so you’re better off purchasing organic.  Below is the list of the dirty dozen, which are the top fruits and vegetables in terms of pesticides. These pesticides should not be taken lightly and have been proven to cause cancer, disease, and issues with cell growth.  My advice, buy these foods organic whenever you can. If you can’t then peel your apples and remove the outer layers of lettuce and greens.

1.    Apples  
2.    Celery
3.    Strawberries
4.    Peaches
5.    Spinach
6.    Nectarines- imported
7.    Grapes- imported
8.    Sweet Bell Peppers
9.    Potatoes
10.    Blueberries-domestic
11.    Lettuce
12.    Kale/Collard Greens

But my advice does not end with bad news. There has also been a list provided of the clean fifteen, the top fruits and vegetables you don’t need to buy organic. These are mostly because we normally peel them in order to eat them, like bananas, watermelon and avocadoes. So feel fairly comfortable buying and eating these without worrying about your health.

1.    Onions
2.    Corn
3.    Pineapple
4.    Avocado
5.    Asparagus
6.    Sweet Pea
7.    Mango
8.    Eggplant
9.    Cantaloupe- domestic
10.    Kiwi
11.    Cabbage
12.    Watermelon
13.    Sweet Potatoes
14.    Grapefruit
15.    Mushrooms


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