What Organic Foods to Buy and What To Ignore

Heart shaped avocado half on wooden background

An apple a day keeps the doctor away…right? Maybe not. According to the Environmental Working Group, apples are just one of 12 commonly eaten fruits and veggies that have high traces of chemical pesticides, even after they’ve been peeled and pulped for your baby. The answer? Give children organic forms of these produce. Sticking to organic versions of foods like lettuce, potatoes, strawberries, and grapes—in fresh, juiced, and even dried forms—can reduce exposure to pesticides by a whopping 90%.


Organic versions of eggs, meat, poultry, rice, dairy products and baby food are also a much safer bet than their chemical-laden counterparts. On the other hand, when it comes to a score of other produce, plus pasta, you can safely buy non-organic. You can also keep costs down by shopping at farmer’s markets, food coops, and discount chains like Trader Joe’s, and by opting for locally grown and in-season items whenever possible.

Here’s the EW’s list of the “dirty dozen” foods to buy organic, and the dozen that will not give your baby a dose of pesticide if you buy conventional varieties:

12 Foods to Buy Organic

  • Apples
  • Bell Peppers
  • Celery
  • Cherries
  • Grapes (that means raisins and juice too)
  • Lettuce
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Potatoes
  • Spinach
  • Strawberries
  • Plus: eggs, meat, poultry, dairy, baby food, rice.

12 Organic Foods You Don’t Need to Worry About

  • Asparagus
  • Avocado
  • Bananas
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Eggplant
  • Frozen Sweet Peas
  • Kiwi
  • Mango
  • Onions
  • Pineapples
  • Watermelon

Morgan is a blogger and freelance writer living in Southern California with her two daughters and flock of backyard chickens. She is also the Associate Editor for mint.com and the Quicken blog. Her work has been featured on WSJ.com, Slate.com, The Huffington Post, and San Diego Home and Garden Magazine. In her spare time she enjoys fake shopping online, writing love letters to Ryan Gosling, and avoiding folding laundry.