Molly McNamee | The DIRTY Dozen
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The DIRTY Dozen

Fruits and vegetables have nutrients and health benefits that everyone needs. But did you know that conventionally grown produce (not organic) use fertilizers and pesticides on fruits and vegetables to allow out of season growth, greater longevity, and greater mass? Consuming these chemicals is not good for you. Consuming pesticides can result in numerous health problems, including cancer – so if possible it’s best to shop organic.

It can be hard on the budget to always buy organic produce, so the Environmental Working Group releases the “Dirty Dozen” every year to help you prioritize your fruits and vegetables. The Dirty Dozen are the worst offenders of pesticide residue. Organic produce is grown without using synthetic pesticides. So, buying organic on these particular foods can help reduce your pesticide consumption by up to 80%. Well worth it … here’s the list

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

While we are on the topic of harmful chemicals, I wanted to explain why buying organic meat is also important. When you buy meat that is not organic you are eating an animal that was fed chemicals to get larger (thus providing more meat) – when you buy organic meats, you are saving yourself from consuming the chemicals from the animal.

All in all, organic keeps you safe from unnatural chemicals, but if it’s tough for you to always buy organic – at least avoid these produce items or splurge on the organic stuff. Also, quick tip – when produce is in season it is cheaper. So, in season produce really isn’t that expensive – it’s also probably been grown organically.