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A Guide to Going Organic

Although pesticides can help protect fruits and vegetables from insects and disease, more people are deciding to buy organic produce. Learn when you should splurge on organic and when you can save at the checkout line.

Dirty Dozen
These foods have thin outer coverings that are more prone to being laden with chemicals, making them ideal for organic purchases.

Apples

Blueberries (domestic)

Celery
Grapes (imported)

Kale/collard greens

Lettuce

Nectarines (imported)

Peaches

Potatoes

Spinach

Strawberries

Sweet bell peppers

Clean 15
Most of these foods have a thick skin that is removed before eating and can be eaten with less worry of pesticides and chemicals.

Asparagus

Avocado

Cabbage

Cantaloupe (domestic)

Eggplant

Grapefruit

Kiwi

Mangoes

Mushrooms

Onions

Pineapples

Sweet corn

Sweet peas

Sweet potatoes

Watermelon

Whether organic or not, it’s still important to have fruits and vegetables on your plate — something many Americans don’t get enough of.

“You shouldn’t avoid eating fruits and vegetables if you can’t buy them organically,” says Amber Massey, registered dietitian at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth. “Regardless, you’re still reaping a wealth of nutritional benefits.”

Need ideas for fresh, healthy meals? For a variety of free recipes, visit TexasHealth.org/Recipes.

(Spring 2012)

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