As much as we love organic food and know absolutely how good it is for you, we must be honest: it’s not necessary to eat only organic grown/raised vegetables, fruit, dairy, and meat to eat healthfully.

Eat mostly non-processed foods, including fresh fruits and vegetables grown conventionally and you’ll be far the better off for it because processed foods are proven to be detrimental to your health, as these types of products are known to lead to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, even cancer.

Still, even non-processed foods can be dangerous if they’re not grown organically because of the intense chemical pesticides to which they are exposed. Take a look below for a list of those foods that always should be eaten only if they were grown organically.

  • Celery: This vegetable is grown in fall and winter, when rain and wind can promote outbreaks of fungal and bacterial diseases. Many farmers then spray a lot of chemicals on the entire stalk to protect it.
  • These delicious fruits have very little protection and are pretty much defenseless when it comes to fruit flies and, even if only a bit of the crop is contaminated by virus or bacteria, farmers are required by quarantine regulations to get rid of all of the fruit. So they tend to use more pesticides or risk losing their crop.
  • The most popular fruit in America by far is susceptible to more than 30 species of insect and 10 or more different types of diseases. Conventional apple farmers apply fungicides and other chemicals after they are picked in order to prevent the “ugly” stains that can appear during storage (which can be up to nine months).
  • Insects love the juicy and sweet fruit of the peach just as much as humans do, and so farmers spray pesticides on their peach trees every week between flowering and harvest time. If you can’t find organic peaches, make sure you wash the fruits extremely well before eating. (The same goes for apples, FYI).
  • Grasshoppers and other insects love spinach. What’s more, the vegetable tends to suck DDT – one of the most poisonous of insecticides – from the soil in which it’s planted, which can be worrisome because DDT can stay in the soil for up to 10 years after being banned.
  • This salad green’s outer leaves need to be plucked before it’s sold in markets in order to prevent damage (and therefore look “bad” on a grocer’s shelves). In addition, farmers place many insecticides on kale in order to keep insects at bay.

Some fruits/vegetables that are okay to eat if not organic include avocados, pineapples, onions, sweet corn, cabbage, kiwis, peas, eggplants, and melons/watermelons. You can easily guess why: all of them have a tough outside that helps keep chemical pesticides away from the fruit’s/vegetable’s edible “meat” inside.