Organic Pesticides - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

11/1/06

Organic Pesticides

Even though it can cost up to twice as much, consumers are flocking to buy organic foods, which means they are chemical free grown with no pesticides. Last year, sales topped ten billion dollars.

Here's what's new. If you have thought about buying organic but didn't know what to try, a new list ranks foods contaminated with pesticides from the highest concentration to the lowest. The list comes from the environmental working group in Washington.

Those scientists poured over government tests on 43 popular fruits and veggies focusing on the average amount of pesticides used on each type of crop and they came up with what they call the dirty dozen, foods which carry a heavy load of pesticides.

The worst offenders: peaches, followed by: apples, sweet bell peppers, celery, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, pears, imported grapes, spinach, lettuce, and potatoes.

"Those are some of the most contaminated with pesticides where you should buy organic," said Richard Wiles of the Environmental Working Group.  

"Soft skinned produce absorbs more pesticides or if they are grown close the ground they can pick up more pesticides," said Steve Scrimpsher, Sunflower Market.

On the flip-side, the environmental working group found there are farm foods with almost no detectable pesticides that are likely exposed to fewer pesticides while growing. They're calling that list the cleanest twelve and it includes onions, avocados, frozen sweet corn, pineapples, mangos, asparagus, frozen sweet peas, kiwi, bananas, cabbage, broccoli, and papaya. 

For a list of organic foods from the dirtiest to the cleanest go to http://www.foodnews.org/walletguide.php.  

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