Organic on a budget – The Dirty Dozen & Clean Fifteen

Let’s face it, most of us don’t have an unlimited food budget, and Organic foods tend to be more expensive.  So, it pays to know which ones really make a difference.

The Environmental Working Group ranks 49 fruits and vegetables according to pesticide content (retained in the food itself, not necessarily how much is actually used in production).

Since it’s a long list, they highlight “The Dirty Dozen” and “The Clean Fifteen.”

Of course, there are factors other than budget to consider, including how far away it was grown, growing season, availability, supporting small farmers, and so on.

You may decide it’s worth buying an Organic peach that was grown 2,000 miles away (rather than a local peach that’s not organic), but you may choose to buy a conventionally-grown-but-local avocado rather than an Organic one that traveled across the country to get to you.

Print their handy wallet card (PDF), or get the free iPhone App (iTunes link).

The Dirty Dozen

Buy these Organic whenever possible.

7 Fruits:

  • Peaches
  • Strawberries
  • Apples
  • Blueberries (Domestic)
  • Nectarines
  • Cherries
  • Grapes (Imported)

5 Vegetables:

  • Celery
  • Sweet Bell Peppers
  • Spinach
  • Kale/Collard Greens
  • Potatoes

The Clean Fifteen

8 Fruits:

  • Avocados
  • Pineapples
  • Mangoes
  • Kiwi
  • Cantaloupe (Domestic)
  • Watermelon
  • Grapefruit
  • Honeydew

7 Vegetables:

  • Onions
  • Sweet Corn
  • Sweet Peas
  • Asparagus
  • Cabbage
  • Eggplant
  • Sweet Potatoes

EWG’s full list and methodology

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