Something to Chew On

The idea of buying ONLY organic fruits and vegetables sounds fantastic. However, real life sometimes gets in the way and you end up settling for the closest grocery chain for some celery or potatoes.

My local health food store has everything organic under the sun and I try to shop there as much as possible. However, the hours are limited and the prices are high, so I often end up at my local Von's around the corner.

PLU codes are the numbers you see printed on the barcode stickers on produce. If the PLU code is five digits starting with a 9, the item is organic. Conventional produce numbers are only four digits.

The EWG's (Environmental Working Group) 2012 Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce™, will help you determine which fruits and vegetables have the most pesticide residues and which are the most important to buy organic. You can lower your pesticide intake substantially by avoiding the 14 most contaminated fruits and vegetables.

The pomegranate pictured above is not organic. However, Pomegranate's are not on the list of produce you should buy organic, so it's okay. The apple pictured above is also not organic. However, apple's are #1 on the list of produce you should buy organic. For more detailed information go to


Apples, Celery, Sweet Bell Peppers, Peaches, Strawberries, Imported Nectarines, Grapes, Spinach, Lettuce, Cucumbers, Domestic Blueberries, Potatoes, Green Beans, Kale/Greens.  These all may contain pesticide residues of special concern.


Onions, Sweet Corn, Pineapples, Avocado, Cabbage, Sweet Peas, Asparagus, Mangoes, Eggplant, Kiwi, Domestic Cantaloupe, Sweet Potatoes, Grapefruit, Watermelon, Mushrooms.  You can buy conventional produce from this list.

Good to know!

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