Should You Eat Organic? - Indianapolis Fitness And Sports Training
Diet and Nutrition

Should You Eat Organic?

written by Mike Robertson

Fruits_veggiesA common question people have at IFAST goes something like this:

“I’ve heard I should eat more organic foods – what do you think?”

And while we’re happy to hear that question, let us preface something real quick first.

If you’re just getting started on the road to improved health, don’t worry about splitting hairs. If you have to make the choice between a non-organic apple and a bag of potato chips, choose the apple any time!

This is one of the first things we discuss with our clients – focus on getting more high-quality, whole foods into your diet first. From there, we can talk more about organic foods.

Now if you’re fueling your body with great foods, looking into organics may be something to consider. In this case, it’s important to note that all organic foods aren’t created equal.

Luckily the Environmental Working Group (or EWG, for short) has come up with a list they call “The Dirty Dozen.” This list contains the 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables out there, and includes the following:

  • Apples,
  • Celery,
  • Cherry tomatoes,
  • Cucumbers,
  • Grapes,
  • Hot peppers,
  • Nectarines (imported),
  • Peaches,
  • Potatoes,
  • Spinach,
  • Strawberries,
  • Sweet bell peppers,
  • Kale/collard greens, and
  • Summer squash.

On the other hand, the EWG also has their “Clean Fifteen” – the 15 fruits and vegetables least likely to be contaminated:

  • Asparagus,
  • Avocados,
  • Cabbage,
  • Cantaloupe,
  • Sweet corn,
  • Eggplant,
  • Grapefruit,
  • Kiwi,
  • Mangos,
  • Mushrooms,
  • Onions,
  • Papayas,
  • Pineapple,
  • Sweet peas (frozen), and
  • Sweet potatoes.

If you’re considering eating more organic foods, the two lists from above are a great place to start. The foods on the first list are more likely to be contaminated, so look for organic options whenever possible.

On the other hand, foods on the second list are less likely to be contaminated, so it’s not as big of a deal whether these fruits/veggies are organic or not.

I hope these two lists have cleared up a little bit of the confusion as to whether you should/shouldn’t buy something organic.

And if you’re new to all this, I’d highly recommend checking out the entire EWG website, as there’s a ton of great information there.

Good luck!



Mike Robertson

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