A lot of people are in the organic only mindset. They will buy produce that is only marked as organic. Seems like a good policy. Who wants to eat pesticides on their food? No one actually wants that. But are you spending your money wisely by sticking to an organic only rule? Recently I was asked about whether it was necessarily to buy organic avocados. The answer I found might surprise you, I hope it enlightens you to really examine the choices you are making and if they are worth your hard earned money.
By now most people have heard of the dirty dozen. These are fruits or vegetables that are highly recommend that you buy organic because they are the most likely to have or absorb pesticides. Here is the rundown.
sweet bell peppers
spinach, kale and collard greens
Avocados do not make that list. One thing those 12 items have in common is that you eat the whole thing, including the other skin, where pesticides may have directly touched. Of course you do not eat the skin of the avocado. Some still worry about it getting through the skin. But there is still another issue to be addressed. Think about this, farmers don’t just spray pesticides for the fun of it. They do it to improve the look and quantity of their crop. With some produce that is a waste of time and especially money. Farmers do not spray everything equally. Some things grow with less “problems”.
Take a look at the avocado. Not the prettiest fruit. No amount of spraying is going to make it look any better. The Environmental Working Group came out with a list of 15 produce items that are considered to be clean and contain the least amount of pesticides. Avocados are on that list.
Copper Used in Organic and Conventional Avocados
Whether the avocado is organic or conventional, both are sprayed with copper. This is used as a fungicide and is approved for organic use. Copper is essential to our diets as it helps keep our organs and metabolic processes working. Too much of a good thing is not good either. I would only be concerned if you eat more than a couple avocados every single day. At that point I would check up on your sources. If you live in a climate where avocados grown, try to buy them directly from the farmer and ask questions.
But I think when it comes to avocados you can rest more easily than you can with other fruits or vegetables and give your budget a break as well.