Do we need to buy organic foods to be healthy? The short answer is no. But here’s a slightly longer answer. Organic foods are more expensive. However, if we calculate the incalculable —the cost of our long-term health — they might be a bargain.  According to the Environmental Working Group, which bases findings from thousands of government tests, you can reduce your toxic pesticide exposure b a whopping 80% when you buy organic versions of just a few foods. An entire cart might be nice, but it’s an unnecessary expense.

To enjoy healthier and safer meals by minimizing your exposure to pesticides and other toxins and hormones, start by focusing on these foods first if your budget allows.  Celery. Peaches and nectarines. Strawberries and Blueberries. Apples, Apple Juice and Dried Apples. Sweet Red, Yellow and Green Bell Peppers.  Kale, Spinach, Collard Greens, Lettuce and most other green leafy vegetables. Cherries. Carrots. Pears. And, when it comes to eggs, chicken or beef— free range is a healthier choice than organic.

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