The Dirty Dozen

organic

I get asked all the time about my grocery shopping, what’s healthy, what should you buy organic, foods to avoid, etc. I have spent a lot of time researching this topic so I can be the most healthy and economical because I do care what I am putting into my body.

The topic of organic has haunted me for years. With all of the different classifications or organic, it’s hard to decide what to spend the extra the money on and what is not worth it.

Below is my list of the produce often called, “The Dirty Dozen.” These are foods that I spend the extra money on to buy organic. Items on this list contain larger traces of pesticide residue than others.

  1. Strawberries

  2. Spinach

  3. Nectarines/Peaches

  4. Apples

  5. Pears

  6. Cherries

  7. Grapes (Imported)

  8. Celery

  9. Tomatoes

  10. Sweet Bell Peppers

  11. Potatoes

  12. Lettuce

There were a few controversies on what order certain foods came in, but overall, this list is a good start! There is still a lot of debate over this topic as different studies have results all over the board. My theory, like with everything else in life, is taking things in moderation. Water can be dangerous for you if you drink too much! There has to be a balance and what this list provides is some guidance on navigating the grocery store in a smarter way.

I try to get a majority of my calories from whole foods and this list helps me eat the best of those while staying within my budget.

I plan my meals to have some of the more expensive, organic items mixed with the items I don’t buy organic. Another key takeaway is this: If your budget doesn’t allow you to always buy organic, that is not an excuse to not eat produce! Wash your food thoroughly and buy within your budget. I can feed my boyfriend and myself each week for about $60-70. Again, this takes some planning and smart shopping. I stay away from the center aisles unless it’s rice/quinoa/ gluten-free pasta or frozen vegetables and the occasional treat!

For more information, please visit: EWG.org and Organic.org

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