Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Dirty Dozen & The Clean Fifteen - Produce

It can be pretty expensive buying everything organic.  We have had to make major adjustments to make room for the extra cost in our produce alone. 

Here's a quick breakdown of the difference between buying conventional produce vs organic produce.

 Buying organic means:

  1. Your produce is not sprayed with harmful pesticides and synthetic fertilizers that are not good for your body and puts your health at risk.  
  2. The soil is also richer and creates a more nutrient-dense product.  Producing a more nutritious and better tasting fruit and vegetable.  

Why spray them with pesticides?  Conventional produce is sprayed with pesticides and fertilizer because they usually have to travel very far to get to your supermarket.  They spray it so they last the long distance and protect them from pests.  Getting the organic seal is also a very expensive and strict process for a farm to have their crops certified organic.  That's why you may get better prices going straight to the farm to get your produce.  Local produce is usually grown with the same standards as organic produce but without the seal.  Always ask the farmer if there is use of pesticides or synthetic fertilizers in their produce.  I know that if you don't have farms by you this narrows it down for you a bit.  Here is a very helpful list of the 12 fruits and vegetables that contain the most pesticides.

The Dirty Dozen- (always buy these organic)
  1. Apples
  2. Celery
  3. Strawberries
  4. Peaches
  5. Spinach
  6. Nectarines - Imported
  7. Grapes - Imported
  8. Sweet Bell Peppers
  9. Potatoes
  10. Blueberries - Domestic
  11. Lettuce
  12. Kale/ Collard Greens
Now the following produce are the ones you can get non-organic if you had to.  They are the cleanest in regards to pesticide use.

The Clean Fifteen:
  1. Onions
  2. Sweet Corn
  3. Pineapple
  4. Avocado
  5. Asparagus
  6. Sweet Peas
  7. Mangoes
  8. Eggplant
  9. Cantaloupe - Domestic
  10. Kiwi
  11. Cabbage 
  12. Watermelon
  13. Sweet Potatoes
  14. Grapefruit
  15. Mushrooms
That is my quick version, DR. OZ wrote a great article that explains it all in greater detail.  A good and informative read.  I hope these lists will be helpful to you!  They are updated every year by The EWG and to find a farm by you here's a great website: Local Harvest.


  1. Thanks for that:) It's always the more accesible, "go to" fruit/veg that's down and dirty:(

  2. Hey the dirty dozen are in heavy rotation in my home :/ Thanks. Printing this list and taking it to the supermarket.