When should I buy Organic?


Have you wondered if it’s necessary to buy all organic produce? Does this seem unrealistic because of budgetary constraints? Because let’s face it, buying organic is more expensive. If that’s you, then you’ll want to know more about the Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 shoppers guide!

Every year since 2004, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) releases a couple of lists called The Dirty Dozen and The Clean 15 shoppers guide. These lists are here to help us determine when we should buy organic. The results are based on EWG’s analysis of tests done by the U.S. Department of Agriculture each year. Over 35,000 samples of produce are used to conduct the tests. It’s also important to note that the fruits and vegetables are washed and pealed if they have an outer layer before the tests are conducted.

The Dirty Dozen list contains the most contaminated produce with the highest pesticide residue.  It’s recommended that you buy organic when purchasing these fruits and veggies. Pears are new to the dirty dozen list this year. In addition, the 2017 report indicates that 99% of the strawberries tested positive for pesticides and some samples had as many as 21 different pesticide residues. Yikes!!

The EWG also recommends that hot peppers should be purchased organic because tests show that hot peppers are contaminated with insecticides toxic to the human nervous system.  Double Yikes!! If you cannot find or afford organic hot peppers, cook them, because pesticide levels typically diminish when food is cooked.

Here’s the 2017 Dirty Dozen List in Alphabetical Order:

  1. Apples
  2. Bell Peppers
  3. Celery
  4. Cherries
  5. Grapes
  6. Lettuce
  7. Nectarines
  8. Peaches
  9. Pears
  10. Potatoes
  11. Spinach
  12. Strawberries

Here is the 2017 Clean 15 List. This list contains produce with the least amount of pesticide residue.

  1. Avocado
  2. Asparagus
  3. Cabbage
  4. Cantaloupe
  5. Cauliflower
  6. Corn (sweet)
  7. Eggplant
  8. Grapefruit
  9. Honeydew melon
  10. Kiwi
  11. Mango
  12. Onion
  13. Papaya
  14. Peas (sweet)
  15. Pineapple

You can click here for a downloadable PDF guide of EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce

Did you know that less than one percent of our farmland is dedicated to growing organic crops? As consumers we can send a message by buying more organic foods! As demand for organic food and products increases, technological innovations and economies of scale should reduce costs of production, processing, distribution and marketing for organic produce.You can read more about EWG by visiting their website @ www.ewg.org

I hope you find this information as helpful as it has been for me!

Here’s to living healthy and thriving!

Peace & Love,


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