When It Comes to Buying Organic Your Guide to: the Dirty Dozen and the Clean 15

Should I buy organic for my family and myself?

Yes! Five (5) servings of fruits and veggies per day (as recommended) could give you up to 10 different pesticides. It’s actually more important to use organic when possible for children, as pesticide levels can build much faster and be higher in their small bodies. Many baby foods have been found to be contaminated with fungicides and bug killers according to the Environmental Working Group .

What’s the big deal about pesticides?

It’s no secret that pesticides are used for toxic purposes; to rid our plants of pesky insects, plants and fungi that grow in unwanted areas. The studies between pesticide intake and the adverse effects on human health are unclear, but some studies show a relationship between pesticides and birth defects, cancer, hormone disruption and nerve damage.

But, doesn’t organic cost more?

Not always. If they are more expensive, it may only be $.10-.80 more than the non-organic produce. Shop deals and pick up organic when you find it on sale. Know the foods on the Dirty Dozen List and try to buy these organic. Think of the money you may save on medical bills in the future by eating clean!

Where can I find more information?

Get tips on eating organic on a budget. The Environmental Working Group also has great information about organic produce. Happy eating, shopping and being healthy!

The Dirty Dozen

(Highest Levels of Pesticides)

Should buy ORGANIC

The Clean 15(Lowest Levels of Pesticides)Non-ORGANIC is OK
Apples Avocados
Peaches Sweet corn
Nectarines (Imported) Pineapples
Strawberries Cabbage
Grapes Sweet peas-frozen
Celery Onions
Spinach Asparagus
Sweet bell peppers Mangoes
Cucumbers Papayas
Cherry Tomatoes Kiwi
Snap peas (Imported) Eggplant
Potatoes Grapefruit
+Kale/Collard Greens & Hot Peppers Cantaloupe
Sweet potatoes
The Complete List can be found at http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/list.php

 By Amber Hoover, RD, LD with Roper St. Francis Bariatrics & Metabolic Services