But FIRST, keep in mind that some of the healthiest, low pesticide residue, and flavorful veggies and fruits may be found in your own community—ask your local farmers and growers what they use to treat their crops. Many of them use nothing, or follow IPM or integrated pest management—an ecosystem-based strategy that focuses on long term pest prevention through biological control, habitat manipulation, and more. FMI: http://www2.ipm.ucanr.edu/WhatIsIPM/
It can be quite an expense for a small farmer to certify their farm as organic. I'd much prefer to spend my food dollars within my community and enjoy fresh produce from farmers I trust—buying an IPM apple from a farmer in Maine instead of an organic one from China. When I can't get enough locally grown produce, especially in our New England winters, that's when I rely more on the organic label in the grocery stores.
It can be hard to find and afford organic food, and sometimes with organic produce, it just doesn’t look as appealing as the fruits or veggies grown conventionally with pesticides. Yet the demand for organically produced food continues to increase as research suggests an organic plant diet restricts our exposure to synthetic pesticides with potential neurotoxic or carcinogenic effects.
I don't buy all organic, but I do try to get the produce on EWG's Dirty Dozen list, organic as often as I can. More and more I find the price of some organic produce to be the same as non-organic. And on occasion, I find the organic produce to be cheaper, bigger, and brighter!
EWG's Dirty Dozen EWG's Clean Fifteen
Spinach +Sweet Corn
Peaches +Sweet Frozen Peas
Potatoes +H. Melon & Cantaloupe
Sweet Bell Peppers +Kiwis
Here's to your good health!