Should We Always Eat Organic
We have compiled a shopper’s guide to pesticides which lists food products that are the most and least likely to contain pesticide residue.
We have put this together using information gathered by PAN UK and it is designed to help you know when to choose organically grown produce, and when non-organic is an acceptable alternative.
Whilst we would all probably prefer to eat organic it can prove to be too expensive for those on tight budgets. However eating five fruit and vegetable servings a day from least contaminated could reduce your exposure to pesticides by almost 90 percent compared to five servings daily from the most contaminated.
Pesticides can create health risks and particularly to children or those with health concerns. Research indicates that they may cause disruptions in the normal functioning of the nervous and endocrine systems, and increase the risk of cancer.
Your Organic Shopping List
Below is a list of food products that are the most likely to contain higher pesticide residues:
- Beans, Edamame
- Cereal grains
- Dried Fruit – currants, raisins, sultanas
- Lemons & Limes*
- Oily fish
- Potatoes & sweet potatoes
- Salads, baby leaf
- Soft citrus – satsuma’s, clementine’s, mandarins and tangerines*
*These fruits are normally peeled before eating meaning a lower level of pesticide consumption. However, a high level of pesticide is used in farming them which in turn results in exposure of workers within the food chain and environmental contamination.
Your Non-Organic Shopping List:
Below is a list of food products that are the less likely to contain higher pesticide residues and therefore could be less harmful as part of your non-organic shopping list:
- Baked Beans
- Beans, green
- Corn, baby & on the cob
- Exotic fruit, passion fruit, pomegranate, persimmon
- Fish, deep water – cod, haddock, plaice
- Kiwi fruit
- Pasta, dried
- Peas, fresh & frozen
- Star fruit
All information above is based on data published by the Pesticide Residues Committee (2000 – 2005) Analysed for the percentage of samples containing pesticides.
 Pesticide Action Network UK (PAN UK) is the only UK charity focused on tackling the problems caused by pesticides and promoting safe and sustainable alternatives to pesticides in agriculture, urban areas, homes and gardens.