A: According to the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit environmental-research firm, peaches, apples, sweet peppers, celery, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, lettuce, imported grapes, pears, spinach, and potatoes contain the most pesticides, so its best to go organic with these.
Do buy organic milk, which is free of growth hormones, antibiotics, and pesticides. Ditto for meat and poultry; if these cost too much, look for meats and poultry with the “natural” label, meaning theres no growth hormones, antibiotics, or artificial ingredients.
Save on organics by checking for coupons on the websites of major organic companies. Or join a food co-op or a community-supported agriculture program, many of which offer organic foods. Log on to Localharvest.org for more info.
Q: During the holidays, my office turns into fund-raising central. How can I politely decline these requests?
A: You can sidestep solicitations by asking your boss to request that anyone selling goods for charity or fund-raising post a sales or donation sheet in a public place. If youre left to fend for yourself, dont be shy about saying no, but do offer a reason. Maybe you just bought Christmas cookies from the guy down the hallmost people will understand, especially since theyre probably being hit up for donations too.