Last weekend, I got a friendly warning from a farmer at our local Greenmarket. Holding up the big, beautiful bell pepper I’d selected, he said, “You may find a little friend inside.”
Friend? I cast an uncomprehending look at him. “We don’t use pesticides,” he explained.
I assured him I preferred the little bug I could see and get rid of to undetectable and irremovable chemicals. (As it turned out, the pepper was friendless.)
Pesticide residues are a particular problem with bell peppers, as it turns out. According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), they are among the 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables — all of which you should buy organic if you can:
Onions, corn and peas are a different matter. They are among the least contaminated. If you can’t afford to buy organic produce across the board, don’t waste your precious dollars on them.
Why bother with organic food at all? Small doses of pesticides and other chemicals may cause lasting damage to health, especially to young children and babies in the womb. Buying organic where it counts will reduce your exposure and protect your family’s health.