Healthy Living Blog #4: Organic or Not? The Dirty Dozen & Clean Fifteen

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As organic products become increasingly available, I always ask myself, is it worth the money to go organic? 

While organic food contains a lower level of pesticides and organic farming is more eco-friendly, many studies find no meaningful benefits or harm to an organic diet (see one of those articles here). However, for peace of mind and the environment, I try to buy organic, but can't afford to pay the premium price for every produce. So the question becomes, which produce to go organic?

Basically, a thick skin protects a fruit or vegetable from pesticides (i.e. what you eat will be "clean"). I used to buy organic bananas because of the small price difference, but then I realized, "I don't eat the pesticide-ridden banana peel anyway!" 

If you're worried about the level of pesticide you're consuming, the "Dirty Dozen" and "Clean Fifteen" is a good general guide:

The following lists are reposted from David Suzuki's website:

The Dirty Dozen (in order of contamination) -- Buy Organic or Peel (if possible!)

Apples
Celery
Sweet bell peppers
Peaches
Strawberries
Nectarines
Grapes
Spinach
Lettuce
Cucumbers
Blueberries
Potatoes

The Clean 15 (in order of least contamination) -- Don't need to buy organic
Onions
Sweet Corn
Pineapples
Avocado
Cabbage
Sweet peas
Asparagus
Mangoes
Eggplant
Kiwi
Cantaloupe
Sweet potatoes
Grapefruit
Watermelon
Mushrooms

 

But of course, eating any fruits and vegetables (organic or not!) is better than eating none.

Check out my other healthy living blogs here.

Bon Appétit!



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