The Dirty Dozen and Clean 15

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Why Buy Organic?

The short answer to this – eating organic enables us to avoid the possibility of ingesting harmful pesticides and chemicals. Currently, there are more than 600 chemicals registered for agricultural use in the United States.  According to the National Academy of Sciences, 90% of these chemicals used on our agriculture have not been tested for the long-term effects on our health. Another reason to go organic is that it supports a harmonious relationship with our environment.  By eliminating the use of harmful pesticides, the soil is preserved and remains healthy.  The ecosystem is allowed to play its intended role:  a biological community of organisms interacting without chemical interference.  Furthermore, organic farming reduces the contamination of water from pesticides. Because organic farming is more labor intensive from a lack of pesticides and crop rotation, organic foods are more expensive than food from conventional farms.  Many people cannot afford to go completely organic.  Here’s a way to prioritize your organic purchases.

The Dirty Dozen

The following 12 fruits and vegetables have the highest levels of pesticide residue.  Try to always buy organic.

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

The Clean 15

These 15 fruits and vegetables are the least likely to be contaminated with pesticide residue.  They are okay to buy non-organic.

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