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The Low Down on Buying Organic Fruit & Vegetables

The Low Down on Buying Organic Fruit & Vegetables

Pesticide concernlow down on buying organic titled

Non organic fruits and vegetables have pesticide residues which can contain toxic chemicals and heavy metal residues such as cadmium. The toxic chemicals that are found in pesticides have been linked to a number of health related disease such as hormonal imbalances, infertility, autism, neurodegenerative diseases and even some cancers. Organic food generally has more flavour, tastes fresher and doesn’t have that chemical or waxy after taste that you get with non-organic fruits and vegetables.

Top reasons to eat organic foods:

  • They taste better
  • They have higher nutritional value
  • They are better for the environment
  • They are GM free


As eating all organic can be a bit tricky not to mention expensive I have compiled a list for you of foods that contain the most chemical residues and are the ones to choose to eat organic.

Apples come out the worst so if you are not eating organic apples it may be wise to peel them to avoid eating the chemical residues left on the skin. Fruits and vegetables with thicker skins such as bananas and oranges tend to be safer options and okay to eat non organic.

Organic certification means that the product was grown or produced without the use of harmful chemicals or genetically modified organisms. Organic certification can be time consuming and very expensive and I am noticing some produce is now being marketed as chemical free. This means that it has not gone through the intensive protocols or expense of being certified organic however it indicates that the produce was grown without the use of toxic pesticides and herbicides. This is also a good option when choosing fruits and vegetables. The down side to choosing chemical free over organic however does mean that there has been no certification process.  You are therefore relying on pure trust and integrity of the company that you are purchasing your goods from.

Fruits and vegetables best to eat organic:

This list has been influenced by the U.S Environmental Working Group (EWG) which publishes a yearly shopper’s guide (the dirty dozen and the clean fifteen) to the amount of pesticides on fruit and vegetables. I have modified the list to make it more appropriate for Australia.

Worst for pesticides (best to eat organic):

  • Apples
  • Peaches
  • Nectarines
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Cherries
  • Grapes
  • Celery
  • Spinach (you can taste the chemical residue on non-organic spinach leaves)
  • Capsicum
  • Cucumbers
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Snap peas
  • Potatoes
  • Kale
  • Chilli Peppers
  • Broccoli

Whilst the cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower are listed as safer options due to lower pesticide residues, I do recommending buying organic broccoli and cauliflower as the florets soak up the pesticide residues which are hard to remove by soaking.

Better for pesticides:

  • Avocados
  • Pineapple
  • Cabbage
  • Frozen peas
  • Onions
  • Asparagus
  • Mango
  • Papaya
  • Kiwi
  • Eggplant
  • Grapefruit
  • Rockmelon
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Bananas
  • Oranges

Wash thoroughly

If you are eating non organic wash all fruits and vegetables thoroughly with a vegetable wash. These washes can be purchased from health food stores or you can use vinegar. Do not wash fruits and vegetables with dishwashing liquid. You would be surprised how many people do this! Dish washing liquid is also full of synthetic chemicals that you do not want to be eating.

DIY vegetable wash

Fill up a large bowl with 1 part vinegar and 4 parts water.  Add your vegetables or fruit and leave to soak in this mixture for up to an hour.  Make sure that your produce is fully immersed. After 1 hour (you can leave apples for half an hour longer as they have more of a waxy coating) remove, rinse with water and dry with a clean tea towel. If you get into the habit of washing your produce as soon as you buy it you then have fruits and vegetables ready to eat whenever you like!

Check organic labels

Do be mindful when purchasing organic labelled food and drinks such as organic wine, yoghurt, coconut cream and plant milks as they can still have nasty additives such as carrageen gum and preservatives added.  Many packet organic foods can also have high amounts of salt and sugar so just because the label says organic it doesn’t always mean it is the healthiest option. Reading the ingredient label carefully is the only way to find out exactly what is in the food that you are eating.

Whilst eating fresh organic produce is the best possible option, washing your produce thoroughly and peeling the skin where possible can really help to minimise your exposure to potentially harmful chemicals and toxins.

Article submitted by Fiona Tuck.

Have a look through the Pantries of What Can I Eat for other great Organic Products

Toxic Chemicals – Eight Steps to Reduce Your Exposure

Toxic Chemicals – Eight Steps to Reduce Your Exposure

Did you know that products we use every day may contain toxic chemicals linked to women’s health problems, like breast cancer, reproductive harm like infertility and birth defects, toxic chemicals titledasthma, and other serious illnesses? The good news is that Women’s Voices for the Earth has done the scientific research for you on effective ways to reduce your exposure to harmful chemicals in everyday products—and to get rid of toxic chemicals all together!

1. Make Your Own Cleaning Products

– It’s easy, fun, and cheap to make non-toxic cleaners from safe and effective ingredients like vinegar and baking soda.

2. Avoid Synthetic Fragrance

– Look for cleaners, laundry detergents, and personal care products labeled “fragrance-free” Warning: “unscented” does not mean fragrance-free!

– Discontinue use of air fresheners. Go to for tips to reduce odors around the home.

3. Give Your Personal Care Products a Makeover

– Read the label to avoid chemicals like parabens, sodium laureth sulfate, and oxybenzone. Check the Skin Deep database at to find safer products.

4. Go “BPA-Free”

– Ditch the canned foods and opt for fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables instead.

– Seek out products from the few companies now using BPA-free can liners like Westbrae Natural, Hunt’s, Healthy Choice and H.J. Heinz.

– Look for plastics labeled “BPA-free.”

5. Watch Out for Triclosan

– Avoid anti-bacterial hand soap with triclosan listed on the label.

– Reduce your use of disinfectant products.

6. Choose Plastics with the Recycle Symbols #4 & #5

– Look for plastic products with these symbols signifying PVC-free plastics.

– Use glass jars or bowls to store food.

– Never microwave plastic.

7. Keep Chemicals Out of the House

– Take of your shoes before entering your house to avoid tracking in oils and chemicals from the street outside.

– Use a door mat to catch dirt at the door.

– Dust with a micro-fiber cloth or wet cloth and vacuum your house regularly (with a HEPA-filter vaccuum if you can).

8. Turn Down the Heat on Non-Stick Cookware

– Keep the stove at or below medium heat when using Teflon or non-stick cookware.

– Opt for cast iron or stainless steel pans for cooking when possible.

Visit our Personal Care/Home Care pantry for great toxic free products


4 Reasons to be Concerned About What’s in your Makeup bag

4 Reasons to be Concerned About What’s in your Makeup bag

For most of us who use cosmetics on a daily basis our belief is that there couldn’t possibly be harmful ingredients in products we rub into our skin every day.  The fact is very few (about Make up bag titled16%) of the chemicals use in cosmetics are tested and there is well documented evidence that many of the ingredient sued in make-up, cosmetics and personal care products are toxic.

  1. Daily exposure, over a lifetime.  Toxic ingredients are rubbed in or left on the skin for extended period, increasing absorption
  2. The skin is highly permeable which means harmful chemicals can penetrate in significant amounts
  3. Ingredients about which little is known may have carcinogenic and other harmful properties when combined with other ingredients
  4. Being absorbed through the skin means harmful chemicals are bypassing the digestive system, hence not being detoxified by the liver.

For a detailed list of the ingredients we should look out for in our cosmetics and personal care products please click here:

Email : for product referrals or view our make up category

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