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Buying These Organic Foods Is a Waste of Money

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People choose to eat organically for many reasons -- it's better for the planet, it's supposedly healthier -- but often these folks are misguided. Although it's true that USDA organic products must be free from synthetic ingredients and grown on farms that strive to protect the environment, the whole organic concept is filled with misinformation, bogus branding, and overpriced produce. Some foods, in fact, are perfectly fine to eat without the "organic" label. 

If you don't want to eat food that's riddled with chemicals, but also value your paycheck, here is a list of 10 foods you never need to buy organic.

Avocados

According to a study done by the Environmental Working Group, avocados are the cleanest piece of produce you can buy. Only 1% of avocado samples showed any trace of pesticides. So if you buy an organic avocado, you're basically just paying for the sticker. The only thing dirty about an avocado is its ability to spice up your love life.

Kiwi

While pesticides can still penetrate the skins of fruits like apples, peaches, and nectarines, kiwi skin is tough enough to protect the flesh from harmful chemicals. Just remove the skin of your non-organic kiwi and you’re good to go. 

Mango

Just like its tough friend the kiwi, the skin of a mango will also protect the fruit inside from pesticides. These are the fruit equivalents of that scrawny kid with the glasses in high school that somehow made it out OK. They can take a chemical beating, and still not be affected.

Seafood

It's impossible to regulate the diet of wild fish, so they can never be labeled truly organic. Pen-raised fish could potentially be “organic,” but so far only international organizations have established organic standards for certain seafood products.

The USDA is just now trying to come up with standards to determine what exactly would make seafood “organic,” and there is much controversy on the topic, as ocean contaminants are a concern even with penned fish. Still, you may soon see locally raised, organically branded seafood on the market (if you already see that, beware, it’s a lie), but it will undoubtedly be over-priced and still in the trial and error stage. 

Sweet corn

Interrogating a local farmer at his roadside stand about whether or not his corn is grown organically is both obnoxious and futile. Although corn is sprayed with large amounts of pesticides, those husks protect the delicious kernels beneath. USDA tests have shown that 99% of sweet corn sample have no pesticide residue at all.

Asparagus

Apparently bugs don’t like asparagus either, which means fewer pesticides are used on the vegetable. So if you want to eat it and don't mind your pee smelling like sulfur, go ahead and purchase the conventional crop.

Quinoa

What Molly Ringwald was to '80s movies, quinoa is to the millennial diet. But, organic quinoa is a load of crap. It does not need pesticides since its bitter taste deters pests. Maybe wash it off just to be sure, but don’t spend the extra money on the off chance that a farmer sprayed it down.

Cabbage

Cabbage has a natural bug and toxin shield -- those outer leaves are protection enough. So skip the organic stuff, peel off and throw out the outer leaves, and enjoy the veggie without tossing your money in the trash as well.

Watermelon

Similar to cabbage, watermelon has chemical protection built right in. Go ahead and wash that rind, but unless you're trying to impress some girls with that expensive, organically raised melon, organic is not worth it.

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Kara King is a staff writer for Thrillist and is Top Ramen organic? Follow her terrible dietary choices at @karatillie.