The {Bakers} Dozen to Buying Organic | Carson Tahoe Health

Lately we always seem to hear about the importance of organic foods. We hear about how bad chemicals and pesticides are for us, and yet, on the other hand, we are also told that scientists debate whether organic food is actually better for you- or just a marketing ploy. While eating healthy is always a better option, organic food tends to cost more and spoils faster. For many of us, we are all looking to stretch our dollar for all its worth, which can make buying all organic a little tough for the average busy household.

Buying one hundred percent organic may not be feasible for everyone, but if you’re trying to incorporate a few organic items into your produce repertoire  here are the 13 produce items that have been found to have the most harmful pesticides, and may make it worth it to purchase organically.


  1. Apples- Apples are commonly known to contain more than 40 different pesticides from farmers spraying them to help ward off bugs and molds.
  2. Celery- USDA tests have found that celery often contains traces of over 60 different pesticides. This one is a definite ‘must’ for the organic list.
  3. Cherry Tomatoes- tomatoes often contain lots of traces of pesticides, most health officials recommend you grow your own, if that isn’t possible, try farmers markets or organic produce departments.
  4. Cucumbers- Pesticides have been known to soak into the skin, which even peeling cannot completely eliminate.
  5. Grapes- Again, grapes are often shown to have over 35 different pesticides on their skin. Raisins are also included in this.
  6. Strawberries- Pesticides used on strawberries get absorbed by the skin, making it impossible to rid the strawberry of the harmful chemicals.
  7. Imported Nectarines- among the lists of foods with the most pesticides, imported nectarines continually rank at the tops of lists for containing some of the most.
  8. Potatoes- We know it’s breaking your heart just as much as ours to see potatoes on the list… However, a great substitute is a sweet potato, they typically have little to no pesticide residue on them.
  9. Spinach- There is typically 50 different pesticides detected on spinach. Canned spinach contains less, but buying organic is your best bet here.
  10. Sweet Bell Peppers- All colors tend to have high amounts of pesticides found on the skins, making them a definite for the organic list.
  11. Kale- We were just as surprised to see this super-food on the list. However, kale, while commonly known as very resilient, still has lots of trace chemicals found on the leaves. You’re in luck though, kale is a staple on the organic scene.
  12.  Blueberries- This little berry most definitely should be organic. When the USDA tested them, they discovered over 50 different pesticides on them.
  13. Coffee- This may be surprising, and while it isn’t produce, the beans are generally grown in countries with lax pesticide standards, making it common for them to be covered in them. Make sure your coffee is certified USDA organic.

We hope this list will help you prioritize your organic list and stretch your dollar to its fullest! Plus, incorporating more fruits and vegetables in your diets… is ALWAYS a good idea!