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The foods you should always buy organic

Reduce your exposure to harmful pesticides by buying these foods organic

fruit vegetable basket© Photo: iStock
Chloe Best
Lifestyle Features Editor
September 1, 2017
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To buy organic or not? That is a question that shoppers are faced with at the supermarket, with many unsure whether it is worth spending more money on foods that have been grown without pesticides. However going organic doesn't have to be all or nothing. According to the Soil Association, which has launched the Organic September campaign, almost 300 pesticides can be routinely used in non-organic farming and are often present in non-organic food – but some foods are more contaminated than others.

STORY: 10 ways to sneak more fruit into your diet

These foods have been revealed by Pesticide Action Network UK (PAN UK) to be the most heavily sprayed with potentially harmful pesticides, and as a result are the ones you should always try to buy organic where possible.

woman holding groceries© Photo: iStock

The 20 fruit and vegetables you should always try to buy organic

These foods were found to have the highest levels of pesticide residues by (PAN UK) in tests between 2011 and 2015.

  1. Oranges
  2. Soft citrus fruits
  3. Lemons and limes
  4. Strawberries
  5. Pears
  6. Grapes
  7. Seville oranges
  8. Herbs
  9. Apples
  10. Cherries
  11. Peaches and nectarines
  12. Pineapple
  13. Apricots
  14. Banana
  15. Prepacked salad leaves
  16. Spring greens and kale
  17. Pre prepared salad leaves
  18. Cucumber
  19. Berries
  20. Raspberries

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Other foods to consider buying organic

These starchy foods and grains were also found to have multiple pesticide residues when tested by PAN UK.

  1. Oats
  2. Wheat
  3. Cereal bars
  4. Rice
  5. Bread
fruit vegetable basket© Photo: iStock

The 20 best fruit and vegetables to buy non-organic

These fresh produce were found to have the least amount of pesticide residues, and therefore are generally okay to buy non-organic.

  1. Beetroot
  2. Cauliflower
  3. Corn on the cob
  4. Figs
  5. Mushrooms
  6. Onions
  7. Rhubarb
  8. Swede
  9. Turnip
  10. Peas
  11. Spring Onions
  12. Asparagus
  13. Radish
  14. Avocado
  15. Peas without pods
  16. Sweet potato
  17. Leeks
  18. Broad Beans
  19. Pumpkin and squash
  20. Broccoli

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