Eating Organic – the Essential Fruits & Veggies

It’s super expensive to buy local, organic produce.  I find myself dividing it up – every other week I shop at the Farmer’s Market and then supplement with conventional produce from my local grocery.  This may be better than going all conventional, but it’s still not nearly as effective as I’m hoping for…and that’s why I was super excited to learn about the ‘Dirty Dozen’ and the ‘Clean 15’.

The FDA  and USDA performed over 95,000 tests on produce between the years of 2000 – 2008.  In order to evaluate how much pesticides the average consumer is ingesting, they tested the produce as it is eaten, i.e. some washed, some peeled, some both.  What they found won’t surprise you, we’re all aware of the insane amounts of chemicals and additives on our fruits and veggies.  But we are able to reduce our amount of chemical consumption by about 20% by choosing organic for the Dirty Dozen.  The Clean 15 are the fruits and veggies that tested lowest in pesticides, hormones and additives.  And don’t forget how important it is to buy local, even for conventional produce.  The last FDA report (2005) found that imported conventional produce had higher percentages in violation of the standards for acceptable contamination levels (which in itself is pretty creepy).

The idea is simple: buy organic on the foods that are most heavily sprayed, injected and added to.  Stick to conventional where it is least likely to be covered in pesticide, injected with hormones or full of additives.

The Dirty Dozen:

  • Celery
  • Peaches
  • Strawberries
  • Apples
  • Blueberries
  • Nectarines
  • Bell Peppers
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Cherries
  • Potatoes
  • Grapes

The Clean 15:

  • Onions
  • Avocado
  • Sweet Corn
  • Pineapple
  • Mangos
  • Sweet Peas
  • Asparagus
  • Kiwi
  • Cabbage
  • Eggplant
  • Cantaloupe
  • Watermelon
  • Grapefruit
  • Sweet Potato
  • Honeydew Melon
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