How Not to Eat Pesticides for Dinner
We love produce, but we don't love pesticides. To stay away from the tough stuff, you don't have to buy absolutely everything organic. Just follow these rules:
Avoid waxed foods. You can tell if something is waxed by smelling the stem. If it doesn't smell like the food, then it's likely waxed. The problem with wax is that it locks in pesticides that can be found on fruit like apples, pears, and nectarines.
Go organic when it makes sense. Go organic for the produce that contains the highest amount of pesticides. The "dirtiest" stuff: apples, bell peppers, celery, cherries, imported grapes, kale, lettuce, nectarines, peaches, strawberries. But it might not make sense to pay extra for foods that are naturally low in pesticides: asparagus, avocados, cabbage, eggplants, kiwifruit, onions, mangoes, pineapples, sweet corn, sweet peas. Just remember that you still have to wash organic fruit and veggies to remove all the natural stuff used as fertilizer.
And while we're talking about the produce aisle, we recommend that you choose frozen fruit and vegetables in the winter, since the fresh ones usually have to come from remote locations. Frozen produce is picked at its peak and frozen immediately, often containing far more nutrients than out-of-season fresh produce that is trucked long distances. Freezing maintains nutrients better than canning: Fruit and veggies often lose as much as 20% of total nutrients in the canning process.