The word “organic” refers to the way farmers grow and process agricultural products, such as fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy products and meat. Organic farming practices are designed to encourage soil and water conservation and reduce pollution. Farmers who grow organic produce and meat don’t use conventional methods to fertilize, control weeds or prevent livestock disease. For example, rather than using chemical weedkillers, organic farmers may conduct more sophisticated crop rotations and spread mulch or manure to keep weeds at bay.
The Dirty Dozen
You should purchase these fruits and vegetables only organic or do not eat at all.
- Bell Peppers
- Grapes (imported)
The Clean Fifteen
You can purchase these fruits and vegetables non-organic and have the lease amount of chemicals.
- Sweet Corn
- Sweet Peas
- Grape fruit
- Sweet Potatoes
- Honeydew Melon
Other helpful tips and tricks:
- 100 percent organic. To use this phrase, products must be either completely organic or made of all organic ingredients.
- Organic. Products must be at least 95 percent organic to use this term.
- No, “natural” and “organic” are not interchangeable terms. You may see “natural” and other terms such as “all natural,” “free-range” or “hormone-free” on food labels. These descriptions must be truthful, but don’t confuse them with the term “organic.” Only foods that are grown and processed according to USDA organic standards can be labeled organic.