Organic or Not?

When I first switched over to a plant-based diet, my grocery bill was absolutely ridiculous. I went out and bought a LOT of produce, all organic. What I found was two things: 1) real food goes bad, fast and 2) buying everything organic is expensive. The solution to the first was simple, buy less. The second I resolved by only buying the items with the highest pesticide load organic. Of course, the ideal is to have everything organic, but this method will have to do for now.

To determine which produce I should buy organic, I looked up what is known as the “dirty dozen” and the “clean fifteen.” These list are put out yearly to help consumers identify the conventionally grown items that have been found to have the highest pesticide load and the ones that have been found to be the “cleanest.” The goal is to avoid conventional items on the “dirty dozen” list and only buy those organic. If you’re trying to save money, the items on the “clean fifteen” list are generally safer to buy conventional.

Here are this year’s lists

Dirty Dozen (taken from TheDailyGreen)

  1. Celery
  2. Peaches
  3. Strawberries
  4. Apples
  5. Blueberries
  6. Nectarines
  7. Bell Peppers
  8. Spinach
  9. Kale
  10. Cherries
  11. Potatoes
  12. Grapes

Not part of the list, but these next 3 should be bought organic due to the amount of pesticides and/or chemicals found

Meat
Milk
Coffee

These next 4 barely missed this year’s list but you should still stick to organic:

Leafy Greens
Carrots
Pears
Tomatoes

Clean Fifteen (taken from MindBodyGreen)

  1. Onion
  2. Avocado
  3. Sweet Corn
  4. Pineapple
  5. Mango
  6. Asparagus
  7. Sweet Peas
  8. Kiwi
  9. Cabbage
  10. Eggplant
  11. Cantaloupe
  12. Watermelon
  13. Grapefruit
  14. Sweet Potato
  15. Honeydew Melon
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