Eating Cancer Clean: What to Choose When You Can’t Go Organic

Everyone wants to avoid harmful pesticides and other chemicals that can present a danger to health. Sometimes, though, organic choices are not available or they’re too expensive. When organic produce isn’t an option, these choices are your best bet:

This football season favorite always shows up in “Clean 15” lists as a fruit that seldom tests high for pesticides. Even though sprays are typically used on avocado farms, chemical additives don’t tend to make into the creamy flesh of this delicious produce. And avocados aren’t just for guacamole — toss them in your salad or use some to whip up easy homemade ice cream.

Garlic & Onions
The fragrance that make garlic and onions so tantalizing when they’re simmering in the kitchen is the same quality that make them ward off pests naturally. If organic is unavailable or too pricey, these veggies are generally a safe bet even when they’re conventionally grown. Same goes for other produce in the same family, like leeks and shallots. Pests generally leave them alone, so farmers don’t have to use as many chemicals.

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If it’s been a while since you’ve treated yourself to a fresh coconut, it might be time to give it a try. Packed with fiber, vitamins and minerals, coconuts are delightfully flexible. Although coconut fly under the radar in many American culinary circles, studies show that they generally test low for residual pesticides.

Sweet Potatoes
While white potatoes consistently stay on “Dirty Dozen” lists, their orange-fleshed sweet tasting cousins seldom do. That’s because bugs tend to eat the leaves of sweet potato plants but leave the roots alone, so farmers don’t need to use as much spray. That makes sweet potatoes a good choice when you can’t go organic.

The tough, scratchy exterior of these tropical beauties keep pineapples from absorbing chemical sprays farmers use in production. Pineapples are delicious as a dessert, but they pair well in savory dishes, too.

Cabbage is another one of those great cops that has a natural resistance to bugs. And since cabbages have layer after layer of leaves, the innermost part tends to stay pesticide free. If you can’t go organic, discard the outer later of leaves and enjoy the rest.

Even when organic produce isn’t one of your choices, it’s possible to enjoy great fruits and vegetables without compromising on flavor and nutrition. A little research is all it takes keep your family — and your budget — healthy.

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