The Dirty Dozen and the Clean Fifteen

Aug 15, 2023

Some people decide that they want to eat healthier and then they get discouraged by the price of vegetables and every day they seem to be more expensive. Often they are told that in order to eat healthfully they must eat organic, then they see the prices in the organic store and five up all together thinking that is impossible so there is no point.

It is like thinking about climbing the Everest mountain in one go rather than just focusing on the first stop. I have some relief for those of you who are frustrated with the price of organic produce, there are things you can still buy non-organic that won’t be full of pesticides and run havoc on your digestive system.

It is quite easy to figure out;

There is a list that is called the dirty dozen and another list that is called the clean fifteen. As you must have already figured out the dirty dozen is about the foods that we should eat organically because of the amounts of residue pesticides that remain on the produce. There is hope though, the clean 15 are vegetables that we can buy non-organic because the residue pesticides are low enough that they won’t have an adverse effect on our digestive system and our health.

So which to start with? The good or the bad? I am really big on buying organic but I also have issues about cost and I really appreciate the leeway that the clean 15 allow me.

The Dirty Dozen

First of all I must inform everyone that it is really important to buy organic apples and anything that has to be with apples, like apple juice, apple sauce, etc.  Too much pesticide remains on the non-organic apples and it is best to either to forgo the apples or buy them organic. Strawberries and most berries are also on the dirty dozen but it has been reported that there is less residue pesticide on the frozen ones. Kiwi fruit is a great replacement for strawberries since it has a thick skin and you aren’t eating the pesticides. Grapes, berries, peaches, nectarines, celery, sweet and hot peppers are better eaten organically. Spinach, kale, lettuce and collard greens get raving reviews for health benefits but they also must be eaten organic. They are easy to grow and are plentiful in the organic farmer’s market. Peeling cucumbers and zucchini is a must and tomatoes must be purchased organic just like the berries. Potatoes might be better when peeled but sweet potatoes are a great alternative with skin thick enough to prevent the chemicals from getting through.

Coffee and wine aren’t on the dirty dozen but honestly how do you expect to rinse off any lingering pesticides. These products are found organic even in your local supermarket and would be the wiser choice for the same money as other products on the shelf.

The Clean Fifteen

The clean fifteen list tell us which vegetables we eat that aren’t organic that don’t keep high quantities of lingering pesticides. Onions, sweet corn on the cob, cabbage, eggplant, sweet potatoes, avocado, asparagus, frozen peas, mushrooms, melon, watermelon, pineapple, mango, grapefruit and papaya. As I said the frozen berries have a lower content of pesticides

So take solace in what you can buy non organic that is good for you, there is plenty to eat. Then from time to time splurge for an organic apple or tomato because you are worth it.

How is your digestion?

Pay attention to your body and how you digest certain food. There has never been so many digestive issues in our history as there are today so lets be mindful of how our bodies react to the food that is grown with pesticides.

Support your local farmers

I also enjoy finding local farmers markets where they call themselves 'no spray' so they may not have gone through all the hoops to get certified organic which means that their produce is less expensive but they are ethical growers using the least amount of spray they can. This is where I enjoy buying most of my vegetables and it also supports local growers.

We live in a strange society today where those who spray don't need certifications and those who don't spray do need to pay for expensive certifications. Lets support our local growers as much as we can and trust them when they say they aren't spraying the chemicals.



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