Though the term "conventional farming" might evoke images of an idyllic farm with a red barn and cows happily munching on wild pastures, modern conventional farming means nothing of the kind. Sadly, conventional farming today is intended to maximize profits through the use of GMOs, pesticides and other questionable tactics.
This often makes for produce that is less than safe. Each year, the Environmental Working Group releases a list of conventionally farmed produce that contains residues of the most toxic pesticides.
If you want to consume any of these fruits and vegetables, it is highly recommended that you choose organic. Choosing organic helps to protect your health, the health of the environment, and also supports the organic agriculture industry.
This annual shopping guide is a must-read for the conscientious consumer. Here’s their list of the "dirty dozen," or most toxic produce, for 2014:
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Nectarines (imported)
- Snap peas (imported)
- Sweet Bell Peppers
Though outside the official mark of a dozen, the EWG noted that hot peppers and kale/collard greens should also be avoided.
They also publish a list of “Clean 15.” This list shows the produce with the lowest rate of pesticide residue. Of course, choosing organic whenever possible ensures that your fruits and vegetables are farmed without any toxic pesticides.
Here's the "Clean 15" for 2014:
- Sweet Corn
- Sweet Peas (frozen)
- Sweet Potatoes
Photo credit: Jamie McCaffrey via Flickr