The NYTimes just published an interesting little article called Five Easy Ways To Go Organic. They suggest being strategic in your choices about which organic products to buy as some have a larger impact on both your health and the health of the planet than others.
They recommend prioritizing the following organic products:
1. Milk (and other dairy products, too, no doubt). Avoid factory farming, chemical farming, hormones, antibiotics and pesticides all in one blow!
2. Potatoes. This one surprised me. Apparently, conventionally-farmed potatoes are one of the most highly pesticide contaminated veggies around. 81% still contained pesticides after being washed and peeled!
3. Peanut butter. More acres are devoted to peanuts than any other fruit or vegetable and 99% of them are conventionally farmed which includes using fungicides to combat mold. I think they included this partly because kids eat so much peanut butter.
4. Ketchup. This one seems a bit less important to me as the Times included it partly because it constitutes a vegetable in many American households but if you're reading this blog, chances are you don't consider ketchup a vegetable... However, they did note that organic ketchup has about twice the antioxidant content of conventional ketchup.
5. Apples. As anyone who remembers Alar can tell you, apples have high levels of pesticides compared to many other fruits and veggies. They're also one of the most commonly eaten fruits.