Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Cameron Diaz Shops for Lemons: Squeezing Money from Fruits

Shopping for limes and lemons tops the to-do list for actress Cameron Diaz in this recent photo from People magazine. But what's the best way to shop for produce? Dumb Little Man posted shopping for produce tips, with a helpful link.

I prefer organic fruits and veggies. provides links and information about buying organic produce directly from small farms and co-ops in your market. I used this resource to find an organic food co-op in my area. has a shopping guide for produce. On that shopping list, the following items have the highest level of pesticides and therefore, it is best to buy those items organic:

"The Dirty Dozen"

Sweet Bell Peppers
Grapes - Imported

Peaches and apples topped the Dirty Dozen list. Almost 97 percent of peaches
tested positive for pesticides, and almost 87 percent had two or more
pesticide residues. About 92 percent of apples tested positive, and 79
percent had two or more pesticides. The rest of the Dirty Dozen include
sweet bell peppers, celery, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, pears,
imported grapes, spinach, lettuce, and potatoes.

Citrus products -- oranges, grapefruits and tangerines--were in the middle of the pack in terms of pesticide residue.

These items have the lowest level of pesticides and it is relatively safe to buy non-organic produce from this list:

"Consistently Clean"
Sweet peas - frozen
Sweet Corn - frozen
Onions (lowest level of pesticides)

Onions, avocados, and sweet corn headed the Consistently Clean list. For all
three foods, more than 90 percent of the samples tested had no detectable
pesticide residues. Others on the Consistently Clean list include pineapples,
mango, asparagus, sweet peas, kiwi, bananas, cabbage, broccoli, and papaya.

Washing fruit and veggies is also important. There is a frugal alternative to fancy fruit wash products, said Consumer Reports, which noted that plain old dish soap works well for cleaning fruits and veggies. I've tried diluted dish soap and it works great for cleaning fruits and veggies. I also rinse my produce with a big of vinegar to kill germs. wikiHow has an informative guide about washing fruits and veggies.

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