Robin lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has three children and loves to share delicious recipes with other cooking enthusiasts.
Organic vs. Non-Organic Food
"Organic" food is grown without the use of conventional fertilizers or pesticides to control weeds and pests. Many people prefer organic foods because organically grown food is better for the environment and because they believe organic food is healthier. While there's no good research showing that organic foods are more nutritious than non-organic ones, there are other ways that eating organic foods can be healthier.
- Pesticide Residues. Farmers use pesticides and other chemicals on their crops, which can leave residues on the produce you buy at the store. Organic food has much lower rates of pesticide residue.
- Food Additives. Organic foods do not contain preservatives, artificial sweeteners or MSG.
- Environment. Organic farming is better for the environment, since some pesticides can contaminate local groundwater and are made with fossil fuels.
The "Dirty Dozen" Plus: 14 Foods to Buy Organic
Below are the 14 foods with the highest pesticide levels. If you're on a tight budget, these are the fruits and veggies you should still make a point of buying organic.
- Sweet bell peppers
- Nectarines (imported)
- Cherry tomatoes
- Snap peas (imported)
While other berries, e.g., raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, etc, are not on the list, I highly recommend buying them organic. They are difficult to wash individually to remove the pesticides.
The Dirty Dozen Plus
These foods were added to the Dirty Dozen list in 2014 because of their toxicity and effect on the nervous system.
- Kale, collard greens, and other leafy vegetables
- Hot peppers
The "Clean 15": Foods You Don't Have to Buy Organic
Ideally, all the food you buy would be organic for environmental and health reasons. However, that is not always financially feasible. If you are going to buy non-organic foods, these are the foods with the lowest pesticide levels. The Environmental Working Group tested these non-organic fruits and vegetables after they had been thoroughly washed and found little to no pesticide residue.
- Sweet Corn
- Sweet Potatoes
Recipes for Homemade Vegetable and Fruit Washes
All fruits and vegetables should be thoroughly cleaned before eating (even organic foods have bacteria - think about the picking, transporting, and stocking of the fruit). Even fruits or vegetables that are peeled - like pineapples and squash - should be washed to avoid contaminating the knife or peeler. For those vegetables that are not going to be peeled, you can either buy a vegetable wash to remove the pesticides or make your own.
Here are a few recipes for homemade vegetable and fruit washes. Just pour the ingredients into a squirt bottle, spray directly on fruits and vegetables, scrub with a vegetable brush, and rinse.
Lemon Juice and Vinegar Wash
- 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoon of distilled white vinegar
- 1 cup of water
Vinegar and Salt Wash
- 1/4 cup of vinegar
- 2 tablespoon of salt
Lemon and Baking Soda Wash
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoon of baking soda
- 1 cup of water
Grapefruit Seed Extract and Vinegar Wash
- 1 cup of distilled white vinegar
- 20 drops of grapefruit seed extract
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- 1 cup of water
Resources for Finding Organic Foods
If your local grocery store doesn't have a large selection of organic food, there are other easy ways to find delicious organic fruits and vegetables.
- Check out your local farmers market. Farmers markets have become increasingly popular over the past ten years and are great places to meet local farmers and buy farm-fresh, organic produce. Many even have live entertainment, turning grocery shopping from a chore into an enjoyable family outing. Visit Local Harvest to search for farmers markets in your area.
- Subscribe to a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). With a CSA, you buy shares in a local farm and in return receive a weekly box of farm-fresh produce - often delivered right to your door. CSAs are great ways to develop relationships with local food growers and to get exposed to new fruits and vegetables.Visit Local Harvest to find a CSA where you live.
Finding organic produce to cook at home can be difficult enough, but what happens when you go out to eat? How do you know which restaurants serve organic food? Luckily, the Eat Well Guide can help you find local bakers, stores, caterers, and restaurants that serve organic food.
Farmers Markets and CSA Baskets
Important Things to Remember
- Organic foods many times spoil more quickly than non-organic ones, because small, organic farmers aren't as efficient in getting their product to the market. So try to eat your organic veggies quickly!
- Read labels carefully. Don't be fooled by descriptions like "natural," "all-natural," or "free-range." All organic foods at your local grocery store will carry a USDA certification and label.
- That said, at a farmers market, many vendors will follow organic growing practices even if they're not certified, so be sure to ask whether they use pesticides.
Robin Edmondson (author) from San Francisco on May 14, 2015:
Thanks, Kristen! Costco and other box stores are carrying more organic fruits, vegetables, and other foods, which helps with the price. I agree, buying organic from the grocery store can get pricey!
Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on May 14, 2015:
Robin, this was a great hub about organic foods, though there are more expensive than non-organic foods in the grocery store. Thanks for sharing this hubs with helpful and useful lists. Voted up!
Maharshi Rudra from India on April 27, 2015:
Very Good information....
Nancy McClintock from Southeast USA on March 15, 2015:
great hub Voted up Thanks for sharing
Rakel on January 19, 2015:
What about seeds and flour? Should one buy that organically?
Goringe Accountants from London, UK on September 22, 2014:
Some great information here, really interesting. Thank you for sharing :)
Em on March 06, 2014:
Informative hub-thanks so much! We do try to eat as much organic produce as possible but I do understand that not everyone can afford to. That is really sad since as others have commented previously, the stuff that's not so great for you is cheaper and yet we hear about all these health issues that exist in our nation. One suggestion is to try growing your own fruits and veggies. You don't have to have lots of space and it's not expensive to start if you plan it out. We rent but have been able to make a small garden which supplies us with a useful amount of fruits and veggies. Youtube has lots of great tutorials for growing in small spaces and it helped us greatly! Looking forward to harvesting :)
Robin Edmondson (author) from San Francisco on December 10, 2013:
Thanks for your comments, Soulfully and Erica. I think that you are right, it can be expensive. Soulfully had a great comment about buying at local Farmer's Markets. They usually have the best deals and the freshest fruits and veggies that you can buy. Also, even if the farms aren't advertised as organic, ask them what pesticides, if any, that they use. Many times small mom and pop farms are organic, but they don't go through all of the procedures to be certified. You can also ask for bulk discounts at Farmer's Markets. I make berry jam and got a great price on berries when I bough a few flats.
Ericajean on December 07, 2013:
My husband and I tried the organic foods this summer- and wow! They are good, tasty...but expensive! There should be no reason why we are fresh out of food money right after shopping for these items. It is crazy.
So, when I compare my shopping list of a few organic and mainly "other" foods- I save. When I purchase mainly organic foods, it is really expensive. The prices need to be a lot lower.
Your hub was interesting by the way and very detailed!
soulfully on August 16, 2013:
I'm leaning towards buying more organic foods these days. As I'm getting older, I'm making a more conscious effort towards my health. Most supermarket foods (especially tinned stuff) is full of sugar, salt, saturated fat and additives; Ingredients we really don't need an overabundance of. Farmers markets are a great place to get fresh food from.
camigirl on August 01, 2013:
@ debnose I used to be as unyielding as you and strict then I got real. Not everyone, including me now, can afford organic veggies across the board. I pick and choose now too. That said lightened up "what you fear will appear". If you really believe organic only then maybe you should donate to those around you and help them buy organic only. I haven't bought new clothes in over 2 years so I'm not affording anything else over organic. I have 25 dollars to spend on food every week so for me it's not a choice. If the 99 cents market has organic I buy it, if it doesn't I can't buy it. So why don't start helping instead of just standing on your soapbox. To the person who put together this blog THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!
Gail Meyers from Johnson County, Kansas on February 12, 2013:
I just love Environmental Working Group's web page! I was horrified when I looked up the cosmetics I have been using for decades and found they ranked 7 and 8. This is a handy hub to bookmark. I always seem to lose my little list I made. Voted up and useful.
Karen Metz from Michigan on August 27, 2012:
Thank you for the list of good and bad foods! I try to buy organic when possible, but there are times when I can't because of the price. It is a shame that processed foods are cheaper than good organic veggies. Maybe we would see a drop in obesity if things would change?
disitinerant on June 15, 2012:
I don't seen anyone mentioning the other hidden subsidies of conventional farming: soil destruction and worker safety. The costs to all of us are both direct - mitigation of arable land depletion comes from taxes, and often so does farm labor medical costs, which can be extensive in the case of cancer. This doesn't mention the actual government subsidies paid to big ag to keep things like corn and factory dairy farm milk cheap despite the actual market value. This gives some conventional farming practices an unfair advantage over organic or other small farms. Then there are the indirect subsidies on fossil fuels, which are used to fertilize and transport the food. Our taxes make these materials artificially cheap by at least a factor of 2, some estimate closer to 4, and that's not counting the cost of foreign intervention policies that keep oil regions stable. Last I checked the cost on taxpayers for these wars caused this depression. So there are far more, better, and relevant reasons to pay a little more for organic or local food than just your own health and the health of your children, though that by itself is priceless. Anyone telling you otherwise is getting paid. Acting on knowledge doesn't make me stuck up. Acting on ignorance or other willfully miseducated background does make you slightly financially ahead of the altruistic among us to the great expense of all of us. If it makes you feel any better, I eat whatever my friends make when I am a guest without comment because that's how my mamma raised me. Making sound choices at the grocery store is another thing entirely. And if I can't afford it one month I buy what I can afford and get back on unsubsidized healthy food as soon as I can afford it, and guilt doesn't come into the picture. Just logic. Get smart.
debnose on May 18, 2012:
One more thing: people tend to think produce with thicker skins or hard shells don't get the pesticides sprayed on them, and that peeling and washing may eliminate the surface pesticides, but what about the roots absorbing pesticides from the soil which is also sprayed, into the produce itself? Common sense is that the produce consists of pesticides whether you wash or peel it or it has any protective outer layer. Pesticides are not only on the surface they're inside the entire produce as they 'drink' the pesticide-saturated soil! And if bananas are on the non-organic safe list, how come I've 'tasted' pesticides right through their thick skin which also smelled saturated in it? Everything should be eaten organic and we should try to afford it just as we afford to pay for anything else we can most likely do without, unless health isn't a priority? I know mine is, therefore, I choose organic or nothing!
debnose on May 18, 2012:
You actually have a non-organic list of foods that are SAFE to eat??? This makes no sense to say that any food with POISONS (which is what pesticides are!) is 'safe' for us (living things just like those we call pests!) to eat. Where is the reasoning? Why does food have to be produce with these stinking pesticides anyhow? Why not get REAL and go back to the way our ancestor farmers produced their crops? It may take more effort and time, but it's well worth it to avoid devastating diseases caused by eating POISONS!
People still tend to kid themselves into thinking just because conventional produce doesn't knock them dead instantly that it means it isn't doing 'accumulative' harm to their bodies resulting in a slow horrible death by disease which could have been prevented! What's the matter with people? HEALTH should be priority ---profit last!
Thomas Davidson from Australia on May 02, 2012:
Thank for the share of this list. Good thing I found your post this is very helpful. I've been looking for list of organic foods online. It is always healthy to buy organic foods. However corn is a veggies it's a grain I learned it from a nutrition course I took online.
BryanR on May 01, 2012:
Your daughters doctor said?? Doctors are not always right. Ii would do more research.
NYChaos on April 04, 2012:
Corn MUST be organic because most of it is GMO!!! Stay away from GMO foods.
NYChaos on April 04, 2012:
"I recently asked my daughter's doctor about organic foods..."
Is that the same doctor that prescribes antibiotics for colds?
Akenaten on March 18, 2012:
louromano on March 16, 2012:
Great hub ! Nice information!
sunbun143 from Los Angeles, CA on March 14, 2012:
Thank you ....I just asked this question and was wondering what foods should I ALWAYS buy organic and only got the answer "everything" which is not practical. I'm sorry, I know it's not as good but I can't afford to buy only organic, free trade, humanely-raised, gluten free, nonhormone-injected, no preservatives, never processed, etc foods. Thanks for a practical list.
Chef Shaun on January 31, 2012:
These foods SHOULD be on your Organics only list, not for pesticides but for GMO's! 88% of corn is GMO, 50% of Hawaiian papaya is GMO, so do your research and watch out!
Smile on January 16, 2012:
Your article was awesome, and answered some of the questions I had on the dirty dozen. thanks! I personally would not give your children non-organic milk. I'm the daughter of an Organic dairy farmer and there is a huge difference in the milk. If you are worried about pesticides on your food I would be truly concerned about all the pesticides the cows consume, not to mention all the GMO corn they digest. In addition the accountability for farmers that sell rBST free milk is very, very limited, and not everyone is as honest as you would hope. Organic dairy cows milk is much higher in Omega 3's because of grazing requirements. I would highly, highly advice Organic milk!
kelleyward on January 09, 2012:
Robin, I'm bookmarking this hub. I'm always confusing what to buy and what not to buy as it relates to produce. Thanks for the great information!
mudhugger on January 07, 2012:
On dairy-- It is actually important to eat organic dairy because of the high animal fat content. When cows graze on grass/hay and eat feed contaminated with chemicals, those chemicals are stored in the animal's fat. The milk gets its fat from the cow (obviously) and the chemicals go right along with it. Dairy was one of the first products I switched to when I went organic because of this.
kathy h on December 14, 2011:
to the person that made the comment about the cucumbers ~ no you dont die immediately ~ cancer takes a long time to get to that point! !!!!
Just wondering on December 05, 2011:
I think one should distinguish between "safer" and "more organic". The concepts are not necessarily the same.
Ever heard of anybody dying after eating conventionally produced fresh produce? No? Well, I know of at least a few who died recently in Germany after eating organic produced cucumbers...
Susan Bieber on December 03, 2011:
This site helped me with my project.
scross on November 08, 2011:
Great to eat locally and organically when you can. Everyone who is interested enough to but organic should try growing perennial crops (those that live for years) and taste the difference. If you have a sunny 2' x 4', 6' , 8', or large planter that can be WATERED frequently, try asparagus, blueberry plants, Kafir lime trees, Jerusalem artichokes, grape vines, black berry or raspberry plants. All take water and some organic fertilizer (local Ag Extensions have free info and low cost soil analysis), but will produce w/o pesticides. This is coming from SW Georgia, bug capital of the USA. You will never regret have fresh blueberries from your own green space! Annuals that can be grown ina small space include strawberries, huge varieties of lettuces and greens ( they are SO easy!), radishes (try the winter variety that can grow as big as an orange and get sweeter w/ age) and even mini cabbages and radicchio. IF you have a 5' x 5' space consider a citrus tree(which are self pollinating) or choose a self pollinating apple tree that is mini (less than 10' tall). In less than 5 years fruit will be ready to eat and multiply each year. Organic can be a person's livestyle or it can be a list of regulations to bypass. Make it what is right for you. Don't trust someone else to label YOU.
Sophia on October 08, 2011:
Also, (and this has been the hardest for me) you should try your best to find organic cotton clothing. "...cotton uses only 2.4% of the world's agricultural acreage, its cultivation involves 25% of the world's pesticide use, more than any other crop." That quote came from this enlightening article on the toxic effects of conventional cotton: http://www.enn.com/health/commentary/32854
Please take the time to read. :-)
Soph on October 08, 2011:
Blueberries MUST be organic.
Jim Brown on October 07, 2011:
Non organic vs organic story. I was at a dried plum plant a few years back talking with the plant manager. The assistant plant manager popped in and asked if it was ok to fumigate the plant for pests. The plant manager quickly asked, "Are all the organics outside?"...asst plant mgr "Yes"...plant mgr "Then go ahead and fumigate". So you can call me hysterical, but i prefer organic dried fruit.
Gene in Medford on September 04, 2011:
While I'm in no hurry to shorten my life by eating any contaminated food product, I think a certain histeria is being spread with the word, "organic". Furthermore, to one degree or another, it would not surprise me to know that the word "organic" is partially a marketing tool. Buy organic!!! Live longer!!!! Once again, let me state again that I'm not interested in any product that has harmful pestisides...but it seems to me that everything in life is a calculated risk. Which is more dangerous? Driving your car on the freeway at 65mph or eating a non-organic banana? The only thing that may be more dangerous may be riding your banana at 65mph...But you willingly and knowingly take MAJOR risks with your LIFE every time you get in your car, right? Organic vs. non-organic? I think eliminating bad habits, i.e., drinking, smoking, etc., and eating a well-balanced diet, and excercising more often may be MUCH more effective in stacking the odds in your favor rather than fretting over whether your avacado is organic or not. These comments were typed on a non-organic computer keyboard. I guess I should go wash my hands now. Some friends invited me over for dinner...including a fruit salad...oh,oh...Should I ask? Sheese.
A Patel on August 31, 2011:
Does anyone no what ingredients go into these pestisides ?
Ella Baker on August 05, 2011:
The U.S. is attempting to outlaw non-GMO labeling of foods, thereby making it illegal for a non-GMO food product to even claim "non-GMO" on the label. This would result in a global GMO cover-up as consumers are left in the dark about whether their foods are genetically modified or not.
jean Seymour on July 08, 2011:
Can I eat the skin of winter squash if it is not organic? (Kambucha squash from Mexico)
tangoshoes on July 07, 2011:
Great hub! I am really starting to see more and more organic food options on my local grocery store's shelves. I do hope that the prices start to come down on them however!
arnold dev on July 07, 2011:
nice info but if we are looking for organic its not only fruits and vegeables wich are organic
Treasure Hunt Game on May 31, 2011:
Hi i like your Organic vs. Non-Organic article...
your share unique information in you're here..i reads this tip first time there...
MarilynMorrison on May 24, 2011:
Thanks for the information, Glad to visit.
Ty on February 15, 2011:
I am 19 and have for the past couple of years only ate organic food due to allergy's to chemicals, pesticids, e.t.c... Also anyone interested in this look for the film "Food Inc.". Its a really informative movie. I was wondering though, when the package say for chicken says "grain feed", and that it is organic, does this mean that the grains being feed to it are organic?
Thanks for the info!
nperc23 from California on January 30, 2011:
Definitely a must to buy Organic, Visit
for latest info on organic Dairy you haven't read before
deepakkumaarr on January 19, 2011:
This is twisting my mouth
AutumnLockwood from Northern California on November 17, 2010:
Nice list. I'm all organic from now. This hub is quite inspiring.
David Y on October 29, 2010:
No one has yet mentioned how/if you're cooking your carefully selected produce. Concerns about e-Coli from runoff and the like suggest cooking is not so bad. If juicing, add ginger, garlic or cayenne to your preservation as natural antibiotic. When cooking; consider that eater is a bleaching agent... Even rinsing shredded or chopped vegetables removes a shocking quantity of vitamins and minerals. Use ionized acid water to clean, or one drop of iodine per gallon. Don't forget chlorine (easily removed by aeration) and chloramines and pharmaceuticals (removes by filtration) in your water. Cook produce only by waterless method in surgical grade stainless to an internal temp of less than 187 degrees, preserving an amazing avg 87-90% of enzymes, vitamins and minerals - destroyed by heat and sunlight. Write me for more info at DYLifedesign - email@example.com
bogerk from Midwest on October 27, 2010:
I'm a big fan of coconut water at the moment! My wife and I have also been using organic formula for our daughter.
katheryn.charlton from Louisiana on September 29, 2010:
I love your post, it was very informative, and I will check out the local farms and be more selective with my organic vs non-organic purchases.
John Ehrlich on August 18, 2010:
President Obama has the opportunity to mandate that all farmers grow only organically which would spare the lives of the hundreds of thousands of men, women an children that die each year from cancer from consuming pesticide saturated fruits and vegetables, but he does absolutely nothing. Where is his heart?
Organic products on May 31, 2010:
This list is quite helpful in making decisions for choosing among different categories.Please provide these kind of details for non perishable items also.
Lynda on March 25, 2010:
You have some things on both ok to buy non-organic and buy organic lists: e.g. asparagus, avocado, broccoli. I'm confused!
Kyon on March 24, 2010:
I have read research that mushrooms hold on to less than 1% of pesticides.
Ma on February 17, 2010:
Melanie Munn on January 11, 2010:
Corn is actually a fruit, vegetable and grain. So you are safe to refer to it as a vegetable. Nice hub.
Coach Albert from San Francisco on January 07, 2010:
Great work! Thank you for the lists, My wife and I have been buying at the SF farmers market for years and been bitterly disappointed when we looked into the fridge not long after to find spoiled produce. Although I have discovered the "green bags" that keep the produce fresh much longer by apparently allowing some of the gasses out seem to work pretty well. I did try F.F.T.Y. for awhile but they kept sending me the same vegetables in large amounts month after month, kale, chard and squash, which I like, don't get me wrong, but not in such excess. I might try them again in the spring. Anyway, nice hub. Thanks for the info. -Coach
spiff on December 27, 2009:
i buy 100% organic
Tom on June 09, 2009:
Corn is not a vegetable. It is a grain.
Cat Fish on April 27, 2009:
All comments so true. Especially those concerned with water pollution and GM Cross pollination. It is the farm hands and locals that suffer the most from pesticide use. And also the over use of local water resources that steal from the local people their born right to clean water. It's not just food we need to think about. It is cotton, Coffee, Tea these are 3 big users of fertilizer, pesticides and water. How were the hops and wheat treated for your afternoon Budweiser or the grapes of you so admired Californian wine, Or the beautiful beasts; Beef, Pork, Foul??? Think about what they put in yer food and what you put in you're belly as well as what that is cause and effect for those producing those items for our consumption...Are organics really to big of a price to pay? Should the government not support and subsidize organic and water reduction projects rather than wasting out money, Heritage, water and already perfect gifts from mother Earth. Grow yer own veggies, brew your own coffee from fair equity and equality traders and not the Nescafe's, Nestle's and Coca-Cola's of the world. Wake up and smell the Coffee. Have a raw greens shake in the morning and hemp heart pasta for lunch, give up meat the number one waister of water, forest and grazing lands, GMO soy beans and corn to fuel a nation; a world; mind warped by McD's and KFC...Eat and drink local!! Eat organic, wear organic and live as organic as possible. Tell Dupont, Shell, Mitsubishi, bla bla bla multinationals all around the world that this is not how we want to go down. Human rights come down to Organics. Love, Light and Understanding.
Dorset Catering on April 25, 2009:
I'm with RGraf, grow your own. You can't beet this and it's so rewarding.
Rebecca Graf from Wisconsin on January 27, 2009:
Thank you for the info. We are planning on growing our own in the summer and are looking forward to it.
matt on January 18, 2009:
Hi I too have bought about 90% organic in the last few years but what about almonds and walnuts I love them as snacks and I still but them un organic is this a mistake?
GLORY on November 17, 2008:
Organic food is eco friendly ,it is useful in reducing global warming.Slowly people have started using organic food.
servalan42 on June 09, 2008:
Corn is a tricky veg. GM Corn as far as a few miles away will cross pollinate with so-called organic corn. Due to no fault whatsoever of the organic/other responsible farmer, their crop can become GM as well.
Andrew on March 02, 2008:
Your wrong about the corn, have you ever heard of GMO crops, aka genetically modified foods, those are probably the most dangurous.
sarah on February 26, 2008:
renee - definitely buy organic oranges and lemons and grapefruit. non-organic oranges specifically are loaded not just with spray but with whatever chemical fertilizer are used in the soil.
Renee Chaffin on January 21, 2008:
I seen the "Dirty Dozen" list on the Discovery Health channel. Very interesting. But what about oranges and grapefruits? I know organic is always better, but is it ok to buy non-organic?
Courtney on August 16, 2007:
Any type of root vegtable should be bought Organic because they incorporate the pesticides directly into the soil, and the soil is very contaminated from years and years of pesticide use. The pesticides just soak into the ground and literally "grow" into the plant. Therefore you don't have a plant that is just sprayed with the pesticides, it is within the plant. This is not avoidable once the soil is contaminated.
Lucien Beauley on May 23, 2007:
You are on the right track Robin in choosing organic, but please consider that most all non-organically grown foods...probably 90 % these days are irradiated, which can deplete 50 to 80 % of the nutrients, virtually equivalent to the canning process, plus a few more chemical changes. Organic foods, at least at present, are not being irradiated...Thank God.
Robin Edmondson (author) from San Francisco on December 15, 2006:
Interesting, Cec. Thanks for the information!
Cecily from San Francisco on December 15, 2006:
I understand that the Environmental Working Group put this list together. While a respected environmental group, I think they make a grave error by including bananas on the "okay to buy non-organic" list. While they do have a thicker skin (peel) than most of the produce on the "buy organic" list, conventional bananas are often aerially sprayed with pesticides and fungicides, exposing both the fruit and the people that cultivate it, to incredibly harmful toxins. Also, in many places, the growers will wrap the growing fruit in a plastic bag lined with pesticides. When it's time for harvest, those pesticide-laden bags end up in water ways (sometimes the same water ways that are the source of drinking water for the workers and their families). Conventionally grown bananas are both environmentally destructive and unsafe for the workers who grow them. I would be surprised if the other items on the ok list don't share a similar story.