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The Dirty Dozen

Organic. To some it means fresh, clean and natural. To me, it means expensive! If you can’t afford to buy all organic produce, there are a couple of lists to use as guidelines.

The Dirty Dozen is a list of 12 fruits and vegetables that you should buy organic. They make the list based on their pesticide load when grown. The list changes slightly each year, but the 2013 Dirtiest Food Awards go to:

  1. Apples
  2. Strawberries
  3. Grapes
  4. Celery
  5. Peaches
  6. Spinach
  7. Sweet bell peppers
  8. Nectarines
  9. Cucumbers
  10. Potatoes
  11. Cherry tomatoes
  12. Hot peppers

Ok penny pinchers… here is the good news: the Clean 15. These are the 15 food items that end up at the bottom of the list, those with the least amount of pesticide contamination.

  1. Mushrooms
  2. Sweet potatoes
  3. Cantaloupe
  4. Grapefruit
  5. Kiwi
  6. Eggplant
  7. Asparagus
  8. Mangoes
  9. Papayas
  10. Sweet peas – frozen
  11. Cabbage
  12. Avocados
  13. Pineapple
  14. Onions
  15. Corn

This information is based on produce bought at supermarkets. If you shop at farmers markets or The Farm Patch, you can ask about their growing practices. Even if it isn’t certified organic, it still might be better than a grocery store strawberry… and cheaper!

Happy produce shopping my friends!