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Friday, February 19, 2010

Watching for the "Dirty Dozen" (and I don't mean the movie)

As my friends and family know, I love a good deal. And I must admint, organic foods tend to be pricier than their non-organic/non-certified counterparts. Therefore, I have not purchased organic foods in the past UNLESS they were on sale for a price that was as good or better than the "regular" foods.
After some research though (and by research,I mean looking at blogs like Centsible Sawyer)I have realized that there are some foods worth paying extra for because of what you AREN'T getting.

Here is the list of the Dirty Dozen fruits and veggies you should always buy organic. (they are on the list because they are treated with pesticides the most/most often and/or their skins/coverings do not protect the inner fruit from contamination.

1. Peach
2. Apple
3. Bell pepper
4. Celery
5. Nectarine
6. Strawberries
7. Cherries
8. Kale ** some lists include spinach instead of kale/lettuce
9. Lettuce
10. Grapes (imported)
11. Carrot
12. Pear
**some lists also include potatoes

You should only consume certified organic versions of these foods (or grow your own/know the farmer). By doing so, you can reduce your pesticide intake by 90 percent.

The Budget-Conscious should not fear though.Not all items need to be organic. There are the "Clean Fifteen" - i.e. fifteen fruits and veggies that can be consumed without fear of over-contamination from pesticides.
1. Onion
2. Avocado
3. Sweet corn
4. Pineapple
5. Mango
6. Asparagus
7. Sweet peas
8. Kiwi
9. Cabbage
10. Eggplant
11. Papaya
12. Watermelon
13. Broccoli
14. Tomato
15. Sweet potato
Many lists also have bananas on the "clean" list (some do not have cabbage and/or watermelon)

You can visit the EWG (Environmental Working Group) website and download a handy shopper's guide. And yes -There IS an APP for that :)

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