Even as recently as six months ago, I honestly felt organic foods were a racket. Paying so much more per pound for the same type of food seemed like a waste to me, and let’s face it: when trying to pare down grocery costs, an apple for $1 a pound is a whole lot more appealing than one for twice as much.
After doing quite a bit of research into the matter, however, I have come to the conclusion that there are times when organic produce is definitely the way to go. For us, this isn’t feasible for all of our purchases, but for the certain fruits and vegetables that are, by nature, more inclined to soak in and thus pass along more of the pesticides used during the growing process, I now strive either to buy the organic version or opt for a safer, non-organic substitute.
Have you ever heard of the Dirty Dozen and the Clean 15? If not, you will probably be as delighted as I was a few weeks ago when I discovered this guide that exists to help make wise shopping decisions when I’m standing in the produce aisle trying to decide between the organic apple in one hand and the conventional apple in the other. This listing compiled by the Environmental Working Group of the top 12 most contaminated produce items and the 15 least affected has become a shopping tool I use each and every week!
The Dirty Dozen
(Shown to contain the most pesticide residues; strive to buy organic)
7. Bell peppers
The Clean 15
(Shown to be contaminated with far less pesticide residue; buying conventional is fine)
3. Sweet corn
6. Sweet potatoes
14. Sweet Potato
15. Honeydew Melon
For a super handy downloadable shoppers’ guide to tuck into your purse or diaper bag to refer to the next time you shop, click here.
These two photo slideshows (one for the Dirty Dozen and one for the Clean 15) on The Daily Green give the full details of each of the items above and exactly why apples are on the dirty list while pineapples are not. A great read!
Interested in seeing the complete listing for 2010? Click here.