SOS Mom Saver: The Dirty Dozen (i.e.-Which Produce to Buy Organic)

The newest dirty dozen list is out.  No, I'm not talking about the mob.  I'm talking about the list put out annually by the Environmental Working Group (EWG). 

They tell you which fruits & veggies have the highest concentration of pesticides and which have the lowest.  This is incredibly helpful for those who cannot afford to buy 100% organic produce.

You can see the list yourself at the EWG site:  The Dirty (and Clean) Dozen list.

The Dirty Dozen:
  • Apples
  • Celery
  • Strawberries
  • Peaches
  • Spinach
  • Nectarines (imported)
  • Grapes (imported)
  • Sweet Bell Peppers
  • Potatoes
  • Blueberries (domestic)
  • Lettuce
  • Kale/Collard Greens
The Clean Dozen (items you're okay buying non-organically as there is little to no pesticide residue on the portions you eat):
  • Onions
  • Sweet Corn
  • Pineapples
  • Avocado
  • Asparagus
  • Sweet Peas
  • Mango
  • Eggplant
  • Cantaloupe (domestic)
  • Kiwi
  • Cabbage
  • Watermelon
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Grapefruit
  • Mushrooms
If you can count, you'll notice that they actually gave us 15 "clean" items.  I won't complain about knowing I can safely buy even more items non-organically (and save TONS of money in the process)!

Why are these items "clean"?  In most cases, it's because you don't eat the outer portion which does contain pesticide residue (such as with the onion, sweet corn, mango, etc.).  In other cases, it's because that particular item (like mushrooms) grows incredibly well without any help from pesticides.  There isn't much residue because they don't use them.

Where do I stand?  We're a mixed-produce shopper.  I buy local, organic produce as much as is possible in an attempt not only avoid pesticides but also have food as close to the source as possible.  I almost always buy the top "dirty" 12 organically only.  However, I almost always buy those fruits & veggies on the "clean" list non-organically (but still try to get them as locally as I can).  Even better, I try to grow as much as I can myself!

Where do you stand?

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