The Dirty Dozen


Do you want to buy organic but groan at the price?  Here’s a secret I just learned: you can avoid pesticides without restricting yourself to organic products only.  Where pesticides are concerned, you see, not all produce is created equal. The trick is knowing which purchases give you the most organic bang for your buck.

According to the USDA and The Environmental Working Group the following 12 foods absorb the most pesticide.  Prioritize them on your organic shopping list.

The Dirty Dozen

1. Apples
2. Celery
3. Strawberries
4. Peaches
5. Spinach
6. Nectarines (imported)
7. Grapes (imported)
8. Sweet bell peppers
9. Potatoes (not including sweet potatoes, which are part of The Clean Fifteen)
10. Blueberries
11. Lettuces
12. Kale and collard greens (a tie)

We’ve also got the Clean Fifteen: a list of the cleanest non-organic produce.  In other words, foods for which you pay for the label only when you pick organic.  Buying conventional products from this list saves money without negatively impacting your health.

The Clean 15

1. Onions
2. Sweet Corn
3. Pineapple
4. Avocado
5. Asparagus
6. Sweet peas
7. Mango
8. Eggplant
9. Cantaloupe (domestic)
10. Kiwi
11. Cabbage
12. Watermelon
13. Sweet Potatoes
14. Grapefruit
15. Mushrooms

Surprised by any?  I assumed mushrooms sponge up pesticides and that bananas are among the cleanest fruit.  How about you?

Xo Sarah

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