The Clean 15 and The Dirty Dozen–Produce Shopping Guide
For years I have seen countless magazine articles and stories on the internet that tell us which foods we should always buy organic and those we may not need to. Not all of the lists were comparable with each other, but it seems that more recently those lists have molded together a little better, giving the public more of a foundational guideline of these foods. With the amount of herbicides, pesticides and toxins being sprayed on crops these days, it’s important we have a better understanding of what we’re putting in our body.
First, in my opinion, you should always get everything organic if it’s possible. Hands down, you’ll be getting a food without toxins and chemicals, it will be more nutrient dense than conventional picks and it’s also fresh. Do you realize how long conventional foods actually hang around until they hit the shelves of your local grocery store? I also realize that many people don’t have access to fresh, organic fruits and veggies – so you have to use what you can get. My suggestion is to wash them thoroughly with something like liquid castille soap and rinse well. It would also be a good idea to peel any skins. Normally, I leave skins on my produce because that’s where most of the nutrients can be found in concentrated form – yet with conventional you’ll be getting concentrated toxins – therefore, removing the skin is best.
Others simply do not have the finances to shop this way. I can tell you that more recently I have noticed that the price comparison between organic and conventional isn’t a huge gap – so you wouldn’t be spending a ton of extra money to buy organic. So, if this is the case, using the lists below will help you determine which you should absolutely purchase organic and those you can probably stick with conventional choices.
Whatever the reasons – these lists can be helpful for those who really want to eat healthier, but need some guidance as they make changes and transition over to this eating lifestyle.
Recently, “The Clean 15” and “The Dirty Dozen” came out by The Environmental Working Group. This organization is amazing and you should take a few minutes to check out their website and what they are all about. These lists are all over the internet already, but in case you haven’t seen them, here they are:
The Clean 15 – Lowest in Pesticide
2. sweet corn
6. sweet peas
12. sweet potatoes
The Dirty Dozen – These you should buy organic due to high pesticide levels
3. sweet bell peppers
6. nectarines – imported
11. blueberries – domestic
+green beans & kale/greens (due to pesticide residue that can be of concern)
Might I add, that although not produce, all meat and dairy should be purchased organic. Livestock and chickens, raised conventionally, not only are taken care of poorly and in sickly conditions, but they are pumped with so many hormones, antibiotics and other toxins and due to their living conditions, they absorb filth into their body – which will all ultimately be transferred to your body when you consume any part of this animal (in the form of meat or dairy).
Hopefully this list will help you in your journey to a healthier eating lifestyle. I know changes sometimes need to be small during this transition, so this is a good place to make some of those small changes!
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