Craig Minola, an environmental scientist for Organic Consumers Association in Minnesota, said hardy vegetables such as onions don’t absorb chemicals as …
Does it pay to have thick skin?
For hardy produce, like mangoes, the outer covering helps keep chemicals from penetrating the succulent flesh inside, according to the Environmental Working Group, a Washington, D.C.-based watchdog organization.
Although the group recommends organic produce, it can be difficult to find and more expensive than conventional produce. So the group used government data to create a ranking of non-organically grown fruits and vegetables based on factors such as the level and number of pesticides detected.
But that’s not enough to convince Joyce Recor. The Berne resident, who has bought organic for a decade, said she will continue to do so regardless of new information presented to her.
“I would like to see organic take over the world,” she said.
The Working Group believes children and women of childbearing age should avoid conventional produce whenever possible.
“Pesticides are designed to be toxic,” said spokeswoman Jovana Ruzicic. “Pesticides are dangerous, and we don’t think people being exposed to them is a good idea.”
And peeling a potato or apple wastes valuable nutrients.
Consumers have become more cautious in recent years about the dangers of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers lurking in conventional produce. Organic produce has increased in popularity, with sales rising 20 percent annually since the 1990s, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Craig Minola, an environmental scientist for Organic Consumers Association in Minnesota, said hardy vegetables such as onions don’t absorb chemicals as easily as less hardy types like sweet bell peppers.