Can't Afford Organic? Just Wash and Peel Your Fruit and Veggies

Cynthia Dermody
organic versus conventional produce

Peeling the skin makes it almost organic.

As Cafe Kim has told us before, if you have a limited budget to spend on organic produce, you should save those dollars for the fruits and veggies known to be the worst for pesticides:

  • Peaches
  • Apples
  • Sweet Bell Peppers
  • Celery
  • Nectarines
  • Strawberries
  • Cherries
  • Lettuce
  • Grapes (Imported)
  • Pears
  • Spinach
  • Potatoes

And if you simply can't, Mary Ostyn, author of Family Feasts for $75 a Week, has a great tip to limit pesticide exposure in conventionally grown produce:

"Studies have shown that washing and peeling potatoes reduces the pesticide load to undetectable levels, even when the plants have been heavily sprayed," she says in her book. "And peeling fruit maybe be a good option for preschoolers and pregnant women."

She describes the right way to wash fruit:

1. Use cold water and a very small amount of soap.

2. Use a scrub brush on apples, carrots, potatoes, and other hard-surfaced produce. Rinse carefully.

3. Don't bother buying soap products specifically marketed for washing produce. They're a waste of money.

Do you avoid the "dirty dozen" list of fruits and vegetables?

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