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Monday, February 28, 2011

Foods You Can Safely Buy Non-Organic

With the new Weight Watchers Points Program in effect (and with that, fruits and veggies now counting for ZERO points), I wrote up a post last week about foods that are important to buy organic. But, organic foods can be much more expensive than conventional foods.  And while I’m a big advocate of buying not only organic, but also locally grown food when possible (to support the local economy and the global environment), there are some foods that I worry less about purchasing in organic form, at least from a health standpoint. But always remember, the workers in the fields often accidentally get pesticides on their hands,  so depending on your feelings about that, this list may or may not be beneficial to you.  Most of the foods on this list are protected from dangerous pesticides by their thick skin barrier.

Here is a list of foods you can purchase as conventionally grown:

Avocados.  I adore avocados. They are thick, creamy, filling, and super healthy to eat whether on a cheese sandwich, alone, or with some chips. You may recall my posting a while back about one of my favorite smoothies – the Avocado Smoothie.  The good thing about avocados is that they have a very thick skin – which protects the fruit inside from yucky pesticides.

Bananas.  By now everyone knows that I love frozen bananas.  And even conventionally grown bananas are safe to eat because you don’t eat the peel of the banana, and that is where the pesticide used on bananas can be found.  To me, bananas are the perfect fruit.  I also love them with a teaspoon of low-calorie peanut butter on top or in a low calorie banana shake. Yum.

Pineapple.  Pineapples have thick, thick skin, too, that protects them from pesticides and chemicals during the growing process.  They are a delicious fruit as well.

Kiwis, Mangos and Papayas.  Also kiwi’s fuzzy skin forms a barrier against pesticides - you still want to rinse kiwis well before eating them.  The same is true of mango and papaya.

Asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, and onions.   These four veggies are generally safe when eaten from conventional sources because few pests like them, which means that there is little pesticide that is used on them during growing.   Rinse and wash before use, of course.  And don’t worry.  The bugs may not like them, but you can make lots of tasty dishes with these veggies, like a yummy stir fry, among others.


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