I began talking about organic products on May 22nd in the post "What Does Organic Mean?"
Today I want to talk about organic fruits and vegetables. I think one of the reasons people become discouraged about buying organic all the time is the higher price tag. The good news is not every piece of produce you buy has to be organic. In fact, some non-organic fruits and vegetables--the "Clean 15"--are almost as clean as their organic alternatives. On the other end of the spectrum, there is what we call the "Dirty Dozen". These non-organic fruits and vegetables absorb more chemicals from the pesticides and fertilizers used to grow them than others. When possible, you should always buy the organic version of the "Dirty Dozen".
Clean 15: The produce that let us skip the higher price tag!
The product that is practically always free of pesticides, organic or not, is the onion. The rest on this list have detectable pesticides on them, but much less than the Dirty Dozen. The Clean 15 include the following:
Dirty Dozen: Buying these fruits and vegetables organic will help drastically lower your exposure to pesticides (by up to 90%).
The dirtiest of the Dirty Dozen is the peach due to it's super soft and absorbent skin. From most pesticides to least, here are the Dirty Dozen:
→Sweet bell peppers
The remaining veggies and fruits fall in between the two lists. You can always buy the organic version if you're not sure about whether the product would be closer to the dirty or clean lists. If you'd like to see a full list, check out Food News.
Takeaway: If you want to start eating more organic produce, think about what your favorite fruits and veggies are and where they fall on this list. You can keep a list in your wallet of the the ones you love that fall on the Dirty Dozen list in order to remind you when to buy organic.