This year’s “clean” non-organic fruit and vegetable list

Published 26 February 2023
- By Editorial Staff

As food prices rise, it can be helpful to know what is okay to buy non-organic and what is not. Asparagus, mushrooms and avocados, for example, contain low levels of chemicals, but spinach and apples should be treated with a little more caution.

Here’s this year’s list of fruits and vegetables with lower pesticide levels, according to the EWG.

Organic farming is not allowed to use chemical fertilisers or pesticides, as defined by the Swedish Food Administration. This also applies to meat production, where the feed for the animals must be organic and preferably largely grown on the farm. Animals must also be allowed to express their natural behaviour and antibiotics, which are commonly used extensively among meat producers, must be used with “great care”.

In other words, buying organic food and washing fruit and vegetables before you eat can make you feel a little safer about not getting loads of chemicals, but it also comes with an increased price tag.

The EWG organization tests fruit and vegetables every year to see how much pesticides they contain and then divides them into the best and worst conventionally grown produce.

“Fifteen clean”

Fifteen different fruits and vegetables in particular are said to be okay to buy non-organically:

1. Avocado
2. Corn
3. Pineapple
4. Onions
5. Papaya
6. Green peas
7. Asparagus
8. Honeydew melon
9. Kiwi
10. Cabbage
11. Mushrooms
12. Net melon
13. Mango
14. Watermelon
15. Sweet potato

A dozen unclean

These products should be bought organic whenever possible:

1. Strawberries
2. Spinach
3. Kale
4. Nectarines
5. Apples
6. Grapes
7. Peppers
8. Cherries
9. Peaches
10. Pears
11. Celery
12. Tomatoes

The Environmental Working Group (EWT) is an American organization that focuses on research and advocacy in the areas of agricultural subsidies, toxic chemicals, drinking water contamination and corporate accountability.

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