What to Buy Organic
Baby food: Babies eat a lot of it, and processing and cooking don't get rid of potential chemicals, Marlow says. Buy organic when possible.
Meat and poultry: In conventional farming, animal feed is often laced with antibiotics to limit the spread of disease, and synthetic hormones to speed growth. Residue from these chemicals may still be present in the meat we eat. Some experts think the use of antibiotics in food production could contribute to the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Milk: Dairy cows are fed growth hormones and antibiotics similar to those used in animals raised for meat. Research suggests the chemicals make their way into the cows' milk. The higher the fat content of the milk (and of other dairy products made with milk), the higher the level of chemicals that may be present -- and toddlers drink a lot of whole milk.
Certain fruits and vegetables: Some kinds of produce contain higher amounts of pesticide residue than others. Apples, for instance, hover hear the top of the high-pesticide-level list. They're also a favorite of kids; apples, apple juice, and applesauce are among the most common foods eaten by children ages 1 to 5, according to a USDA survey. So consider buying organic varieties of the fruit and products made with it. Ditto for carrots and peaches.
The Dirty Dozen
Here's a list of the most pesticide-packed produce. Be sure to buy the organic variety of the following:
3. Bell peppers
Produce with the highest pesticide levels (per the Environmental Working Group):
10. Imported grapes