The Dirty Dozen and the Clean 15: Saving Money on Organic Produce
Posted on Wednesday, November 14th, 2012 at 6:12 am
When switching to a natural or organic diet, the number one goal and commitment to make is eating more fruits and vegetables. Most of the time, organic produce comes with a high price tag. Fortunately, the Environmental Working Group does an annual study of pesticide usage in farming. Their list of the “Dirty Dozen” includes the fruits and vegetables that have shown high levels of pesticide usage while the “Clean 15” shows the lowest levels. If you can’t afford to buy strictly organic produce, one easy way to save money is to buy anything on the “Dirty Dozen” list in organic varieties.
The Environmental Working Group believes that by following their lists, consumers can reduce their intake of harmful pesticides and chemicals by 80%. It would also be much better for the environment. Lowering the demand for produce that requires lots of chemicals to grow means less harm is done to farm land, water sources, and air quality.
Keep in mind that many products that include fresh fruits or vegetables may also be made with unsafe produce. Items like apple sauce, raisins, or dried fruit can still contain traces of pesticides. Any additional product made with items on the “Dirty Dozen” should also be bought in organic varieties. Below are the Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean 15” lists:
Dirty Dozen: apples, celery, sweet bell peppers, peaches, strawberries, imported nectarines, grapes, spinach, lettuce, cucumbers, domestic blueberries, and potatoes. Kale and green beans did not meet the list’s criteria, but they were found to include high levels of a highly toxic insecticide that has been found to be harmful to the nervous system.
Clean 15: onions, sweet corn, pineapple, avocado, cabbage, sweet peas, asparagus, mangoes, eggplant, kiwi, domestic cantaloupe, sweet potatoes, grapefruit, watermelon, and mushrooms.
Visit the Environmental Working Group’s website for a free printout of both of these lists. Try printing out two copies and taping one to the fridge and keeping one to take with you to the store. It’s a handy way to enjoy the benefits of organic produce without spending a fortune!