Ranking organic foods

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created October 02, 2012 at 5:00 PM

It'd be helpful for those on a budget to rank which foods or types of foods are more likely to benefit from organic farming, and/or more likely to carry pesticides and other nasties with them to (and through!) our digestion. This ranking would aid with budgeting, and direct funds where they are most beneficial.

Any takers?



on October 02, 2012
at 09:38 PM

You always see celery topping the list for worst to by conventional.

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on October 02, 2012
at 05:37 PM

Here are a couple of resources that may help:

  1. Environmental Working Group's Shopping Guide. Home of the "Dirty Dozen."
  2. Consumer Reports' when to buy organic video and their when buying organic pays article.



on October 02, 2012
at 07:34 PM

What's on my food is a pretty neat site. It lists common pesticides found in various foods, average and maximum concentrations, and some basic toxicity data. But it doesn't really rank foods.

I think such a list would be really helpful and maybe I'll attempt it someday, but it would be difficult. There are a lot factors to account for. The so called "Dirty Dozen" list (linked in Beth's answer) is pretty good, but it has little consideration of toxicity of various substances relative to each other.

Another thing to take into account is how you prepare your food. Potatoes often show up on lists of foods with high pesticide residues, but I had an answer a while back where I showed that many residual potato pesticides are greatly reduced by cooking and peeling. You typically cook potatoes, you don't usually cook apples. Something to think about.

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