5 Foods You Shouldn’t Buy Organic

Organic produce can be very expensive. If you want to avoid pesticide residue but keep costs down, there are fruits and vegetables that are safe to eat when grown conventionally.

Buy these conventionally grown examples and save your grocery money to purchase more expensive produce that tends to by higher in pesticide residue.

All these safe, conventional fruits and vegetables are full of a variety of nutrients and eating this rainbow can help to keep you healthy.

You’ll be pleased with the variety included in the first category (we cheated and there are more than five) and be surprised by number 5.

Thick Skinned Produce

Thick skin is a great thing to have, whether against insults or to resist pesticide residue. It’s generally safer to eat produce with thick skins. Pineapples are super safe to buy the non-organic version.

About 89% of pineapples have no residues. Grapefruit, papayas, avocados, mangoes, cantaloupe, and watermelon are also very healthy non-organic options.

All of these fruits are very healthy. Eating produce in a rainbow of colors is important, so enjoy cheaper, conventional versions to your heart’s content.

Kiwi Fruit and Cauliflower

Despite having a relatively thin skin, kiwi fruits are very safe to eat the conventional version. Kiwis are generally not sprayed with pesticides anyway. Kiwis are high in vitamins like C, K and E, other antioxidants and lots of fiber. So enjoy the kiwi’s tangy taste and associated health benefits conventionally

The diet friendly, versatile cauliflower is safe to eat without buying the organic version. Since it can replace potatoes and rice, eat cauliflower instead and save some carbs!

Onions and Sweet Potatoes

Avoiding conventionally grown underground produce is generally a good idea. Two notable exceptions are onions and sweet potatoes. Onions and sweet potatoes are significantly lower in pesticide residue.

Since both are very healthy vegetable (when not fried or mixed with marshmallows), buy the conventional versions and get all the goodness at a lower price.

Eggplant, Asparagus, Sweet Peas, and Cabbage

The beautiful purple skin of the humble eggplant resists pesticide residue. If you are eating younger eggplants, you don’t even have to peel them.

Asparagus and cabbage (of any color) also don’t accumulate pesticide residue. If you love the taste of sweet peas, you are in luck. Eat them raw, steamed or otherwise cooked for their awesome taste and fiber content.


While not plants, mushrooms are very low in pesticide residue. Eat them instead of meat or add to meals for extra flavor and fiber.

Mushrooms, the darker the better, contain an array of the vitamin Bs and an important antioxidant, selenium.


Choosing your produce wisely will let you purchase both conventional and organic offerings. You can avoid both an inflated grocery bill and pesticide residue with some thoughtful shopping.

In general, thick skinned fruits and vegetables are safe to buy conventionally. Of the root vegetables, sweet potatoes and onions don’t need to be organic, so save your money for organic potatoes. Of course, there is produce that you should always buy organically and we’ll address those in a different article.