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You’re definitely better off having commercial produce rather than none at all. But why not buy one of the excellent fruit and vegetable washes available? You can also make your own. An organic-farmer friend of mine uses simple dish soap, which he then rinses off until the water runs clean. (We suggest an environmentally friendly soap. One to try: Ecover.) Others use a mix of vinegar and peroxide – squirt the produce with each, let it sit for a minute and then rinse, baby, rinse!Frankly, the fact that a fruit or vegetable is imported doesn’t mean that it’s more contaminated than produce grown in North America (although consuming produce that has been carted in from thousands of miles away isn’t great for your carbon footprint). The Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit consumer group, has put out a list of the 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables, based on data compiled from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Here are the most important foods to buy organic:
- Sweet Bell Peppers
- Grapes (imported)