The Dirty Dozen, Plus

Buying organic is healthier for the environment, farmers and for you and your family. Organic food is produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and conservation of soil and water to enhance the environmental quality for future generations.

Organic meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products come from animals that are not given any antibiotics or growth hormones. Organic food is produced without using most conventional pesticides.

Since many of us can’t afford to buy all 100% organic, the solution is to avoid those foods that have the heaviest amount of pesticides, chemicals, additives and hormones. Here are the Dirty Dozen: Meat, Milk, Coffee, Celery, Peaches, Strawberries, Apples, Blueberries, Nectarines, Bell Peppers, Spinach, Kale, Cherries, Potatoes and Grapes. Plus, here are some others that are frequently contaminated with potent pesticides: Lettuce, Tomatoes, Carrots and Pears. Most of these are easy to find at your local grocer as well as at Farmer’s Markets during the summer season. Other grocers that sell a variety of quality organic produce, coffee and dairy are Whole Foods Market and Trader Joes.

I’ve pulled together this organic/conventional list that may be useful during your shopping trips. This is a great resource for our family.

Organic Fruit: Apples, Blueberries. Cherries, Grapes, Nectarines, Peaches, Pears, Raspberries, Strawberries

Organic Vegetables: Bell Peppers, Celery, Lettuce, Potatoes, Spinach, Swiss Chard, Tomatoes

Organic Dairy: Butter, Cheese, Eggs, Milk, Yogurt, Peanut Butter

Organic Other: Meat, Poultry

Conventional Fruit: Avocados, Bananas, Grapefruit, Kiwi, Mangos, Oranges, Papaya, Pineapple

Conventional Vegetables: Asparagus, Brocolli, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Corn, Eggplant, Onions, Sweet Peas, Sweet Potatoes

Conventional Other: Bread, Cereal, Pasta

According to the Environmental Working Group, consumers can reduce their pesticide exposure by 80% by avoiding the most contaminated fruits and vegetables. Here’s a great article with more information:

Organic foods are a healthy, wholesome, safe choice for all of us, especially for growing infants and children. The most important lesson is for all of us to do the best that we can for ourselves and for our children. Support our local farmer’s efforts and buy local/organic whenever possible.

2 thoughts on “The Dirty Dozen, Plus

  1. I disagree with our terminology. Organic should be natural, the default. Everything else should be ‘pesticide-added’ not ‘conventional’ So, it should go like this, do you want an apple or a pesticide-added apple?

  2. I would not eat conventional corn as it is genetically raised which is more of a concern than pesticides. The three biggest GMO crops are corn, soy and canola which are all raised in the U.S. for cattle consumption. A good read about this is The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan

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