Foods You Don’t Have to Buy Organic
Its not always easy to find organic fruit and vegetables. If you are working to a budget its not always practical to buy organic food all the time. Mindful Mum lists the least offending fruit and vegetables when it comes to pesticide residues found by the UK Government and assessed by the Pesticide Action Network (PAN UK).
Among the many valuable services PAN UK provides is the Pesticides On A Plate guide which looks at the issue of pesticides in our food chain. Since 2005 PAN UK has used the Government’s Pesticide Residue Committee quarterly reports for monitoring pesticides food from retailers in the UK. In 2006 approximately 40 different foods were tested with a total of 3,562 samples analysed.
Of the non-organic vegetables from UK tested , these had the lowest pesticide load and therefore are the safest non-organic grown crops to consume from the standpoint of pesticide contamination:
- Cauliflower (116 samples – 0% pesticide residue)
- Corn baby & on cob (49 samples – 0% pesticide residue)
- Marrow (59 samples – 0% pesticide residue)
- Squash (24 samples – 0% pesticide residue)
- Swede (36 samples – 0% pesticide residue)
- Asparagus (95 samples – 1% had pesticide residues)
- Peas fresh & frozen (181 samples – 4% had pesticide residues)
- Avocado (47 samples – 4% had pesticide residues)
- Leeks (117 samples – 4% had pesticide residues)
- Broccoli (152 samples – 4% had pesticide residues)
The above list is for vegetables. It is worth noting the following tinned and frozen fruit and vegetables also had low pesticide residue when tested:
- Frozen Carrots
Far fewer fruits sampled were free from pesticide residues, so a separate list appears below focusing on the fruits with the lowest levels of pesticide residues:
- Blueberries (47 samples – 6% had pesticide residues)
- Starfruit (54 samples – 17% had pesticide residues)
- Kiwi Fruit (136 samples – 32.4% had pesticide residues)
- Plums (113 samples – 34% had pesticide residues)
Some of the fruit tested had a relatively low pesticide residue but because certain samples exceeded maximum residue levels (MRL) and/or tested high for more than one pesticide residue were not included in the list. For example, peaches sampled had 34% pesticide residues but were also found to have 8 incidences above the MRL levels and 22% of samples containing more than 1 pesticide residue.
In an ever increasingly inter-connected world, Mums are mindful of their children’s health and the health and well being of families directly involved in the production of their food. Pesticide and herbicide use contaminates groundwater, ruins soil structures and promotes erosion. It is important to buy organic when you can for a healthy world.
Why is it important to think about pesticides before you buy? Both PAN UK and the US based Environment Working Group (EWG) highlight a growing consensus among scientists that small doses of some pesticides and other chemicals can cause lasting damage to human health, especially during fetal development and early childhood.
To find out which foods you should always try to eat organic see Top 10 Organic Foods To Buy Organic