Sunday, July 31, 2011

Making Organic Affordable: The Dirty Dozen

 How well do you know "The Dirty Dozen?" No, I'm not talking about the 1967 film, I'm talking about the foods that are most important to buy organic. Why should there be a hierarchy? Organic foods are generally more expensive than non-organic foods, so it's important to get the most bang for your buck when you buy organic produce. That's where official Dirty Dozen list comes in, which is created annually by the Environmental Working Group. Produce that makes the infamous Dirty Dozen list is there because it is treated with/retains the most pesticides. These items most likely retain these dangerous elements even after rinsing or washing.

Using this list can help save you money, because you'll know which items to buy organic, and which non-organic produce items are generally just as safe as organic. Because I often forget which food belongs on which list, I have a printed copy of this list that lives in my coupon bag so that I can refer to it when I go shopping.

Without further ado, here are the produce items we should all strive to buy organic:

The Dirty Dozen
  • Apples
  • Celery
  • Strawberries
  • Peaches
  • Spinach
  • Nectarines (imported)
  • Grapes (imported)
  • Bell Peppers 
  • Potatoes
  • Blueberries (domestic)
  • Lettuce
  • Kale/Collard Greens

And here are the items you can save your money on. That is, they're a safe bet even in their non-organic form.

The Clean 15

  • Onions
  • Sweet Corn
  • Pineapple
  • Avocado
  • Asparagus
  • Sweet Peas
  • Mangoes
  • Eggplant
  • Cantaloupe (domestic)
  • Kiwi
  • Cabbage
  • Watermelon
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Grapefruit
  • Mushrooms

 Happy Shopping!

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