Buy organic, most of the time

Official seal of the National Organic Program

Image via Wikipedia

The organic stamp of approval is highly regarded because it means that the foods that carry it haven’t been exposed to pesticides, fungicides, insects, pests, etc. – unlike their “conventionally grown” cousins. Yuck!

Luckily, The Environmental Working Group has created a list of the “Dirty Dozen.” The list features twelve fruits and vegetables that SHOULD DEFINITELY be purchased with the organic label on them:

  1. Apples
  2. Bell Peppers
  3. Carrots
  4. Cherries
  5. Celery
  6. Grapes
  7. Kale
  8. Lettuce
  9. Nectarines
  10. Peaches
  11. Pears
  12. Strawberries
Some of the produce on the dirty dozen list are sprayed with pesticides DAILY before they end up on the produce aisle of your local supermarket – beautifully waxed and oddly shiny. I always wondered how apples looked so beautiful after withstanding the elements. Yucky wax, that’s how. Ingesting pesticide is not AS BAD as NOT EATING ANY produce at all but I’d think most of us would want to eliminate the amount of toxic chemicals in our bodies. (Personally, I’d rather drink tequila).


The people at the Environmental Working Group are so understanding of our budgets, that they’ve also organized a Clean Fifteen list for us to consider while we shop. This list consists of NON-ORGANIC fruits and vegetables that are okayto purchase. The foods that show up on this list either have thicker skin or are not as exposed to pesticides as the Dirty Dozen:

  1. Asparagus
  2. Avocado
  3. Broccoli
  4. Cabbage
  5. Eggplant
  6. Kiwi
  7. Mangoes
  8. Onions
  9. Papaya
  10. Pineapple
  11. Sweet Corn
  12. Sweet Peas
  13. Sweet Potato
  14. Tomatoes
  15. Watermelon
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4 Comments

Filed under Fit, Food

4 responses to “Buy organic, most of the time

  1. Thanks for pointing out that not eating produce is the greater evil in the organic vs. conventional produce debate. I think that many people use the higher cost of more healthful foods as an excuse to avoid them entirely.

  2. You’re welcome and I agree. Some people say “well produce isn’t good for me because of pesticides so I’m not going to eat it at all.” UMM NO! Stuffing your face with a bag of utz potato chips is not better than eating a real potato.

  3. Lizz

    Word. Thanks for this, Melly. I was also reading the other day that purchasing blueberries organically is important, because they have a white “bloom” on their skins that protects them from damage and chemical degradation, and when you have to wash them because they were sprayed with pesticides, it gets removed. I’ve been having a hard time finding organic apples, if you can believe it! The farmer’s markets around here and even the greenmarkets in the city I’ve gone to have fewer organic farms than I would have imagined, and those that I have found don’t have apples. Trader Joe’s doesn’t always have them either. Any tips?

  4. You have to check Fairway. They had apples when I went. I was surprised because aren’t apples in season in the Fall? Perhaps the farmers and trader joe’s will have beautiful apples in a couple of months. Then again, we won’t need that since we are going apple picking this year and enjoying yummy apples for weeks.

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