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Rule of thumb for me: if you can’t peel it, buy it organic or do without it.


Every year, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) releases a new version of its Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides just as I start gearing up to fill my gullet with watermelon, peaches, and tomatoes.

That’s right, it’s peak produce season, and — unless you eat everything 100 percent organic all the time — pesticide residue is a valid concern. What’s more, not all conventionally grown fruits and vegetables pose the same risk. The EWG site ranks 45 foods and pulls out the best and worst on the list. “The Dirty Dozen” are the foods most likely to be coated with pesticide residue (peaches happen to be No. 4 on the list, while apples have earned the No. 1 spot for several years running). “The Clean 15” are the foods (including onions, corn, and avocados) that are safest for consumers.

Of course, as I’ve written before, this list doesn’t necessarily correspond to…

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