When to Buy Organic



THE CLEAN 15 & THE DIRTY DOZEN

Buying organic can be a budget buster so it's good to know which veggies fair better than others in conventionally grown environments.

This list, compiled by the Environmental Working Group, based on FDA and USDA testing of pesticides, can be a great help when deciding if it's worth the extra cost to buy organic.


THE CLEAN FIFTEEN
* The top 15 produce items that are least contaminated by pesticides from conventional farms:
  1. Onions
  2. Avocados
  3. Frozen Sweet Corn
  4. Pineapples
  5. Mangos
  6. Frozen Sweet Peas
  7. Asparagus
  8. Kiwi 
  9. Cabbage
  10. Eggplant
  11. Cantaloupe
  12. Watermelon
  13. Grapefruit
  14. Sweet Potatoes
  15. Honeydew Melon

THE DIRTY DOZEN
* These foods contain the most harmful level of pesticides, when grown on conventional farms.
  1. Celery
  2. Peaches
  3. Strawberries
  4. Apples
  5. Blueberries
  6. Nectarines
  7. Bell Peppers
  8. Spinach
  9. Kale & Collards
  10. Cherries
  11. Potatoes
  12. Grapes (imported)

BE A STICKER STICKLER: Those pesky little labels on grocery store produce tell a very important story.
  • 4-digit PLU codes with numbers in the 3000s and 4000s indicate that these items are 'conventionally-grown' produce, using harmful pesticides.
  • 5- digit PLU codes that begin with the number 9 indicate organically-grown produce. 
  • 5-digit PLU codes that begin with the number 8 indicate genetically-modified produce.
GENETICALLY MODIFIED PRODUCE = GMO
That 'O' stands for organism, which should be enough to scare the pants off you.  

Carefully follow these instructions when you encounter GMO produce: Drop that thing like a hot potato and high-tail it to the organic produce section! Your body will thank you.