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Top 12 Must-Buy Organic Foods

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Pesticides help protect crops by warding off damaging weeds, diseases, and bugs, but they also leave a residue on our produce. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, certain fruits and vegetables consistently carry much higher levels of pesticide residue than others, even after washing. Researchers at the nonprofit Environmental Working Group (EWG) tested these top offenders and dubbed them "The Dirty Dozen." For these 12 foods, the EWG recommends avoiding pesticide residue by choosing organic versions. Print out our handy list to take along with you to the grocery store.

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Apples


The EWG found that 98 percent of tested apples were contaminated. Even peeling a conventional apple won't completely eliminate chemical residue, so it's best to buy organic. The two types of fiber in apples — soluble and insoluble — can reduce cholesterol levels and the risk of hardening of the arteries, heart attack, and stroke. Apples also keep blood sugar levels stable, and can help prevent kidney stones. Bonus: You'll find that organic apples taste sweeter than conventionally grown.

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