The Dirty Dozen

Mmmm... Those Pesticides are Quite Delicious

I think it's pretty common knowledge nowadays that all of our fruits and veggies are grown with pesticides and chemicals so that they are protected as they grow (often yielding more crop for the farmer).  On top of that our fruits and veggies may often be genetically modified organisms (GMOs), or genetically altered to grow to very large proportions.  Ever been amazed by the size of certain fruit and veggies?  It must be something in the water... 

Pesticides have become a very salacious component to the organics debate.  What fruits and veggies are most affected by these chemicals and which are not?  Well next time you're shopping for fruits and veggies bring this list with you and you'll know where to spend your organic dollars and where you can stick to conventionally grown foods.

The Dirty Dozen

These are the foods that have been researched to have the most pesticides on them that don't wash off.  Try to buy these as organics and if you buy conventional try to wash them very thoroughly.  

  • PeachImage courtesy of a Sampeson Blog
  • Apple
  • Bell Pepper
  • Celery
  • Nectarines
  • Strawberries
  • Cherries
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Grapes
  • Carrot
  • Pear

The Clean Fifteen

These food are the lowest in pesticides.  But you should still wash them (where applicable)!

  • Onion
  • Avocado
  • Sweet Corn
  • Pineapple
  • Mango
  • Asparagus
  • Sweet Peas
  • Kiwi
  • Cabbage
  • Eggplant
  • Papaya
  • Watermelon
  • Broccoli
  • Tomato
  • Sweet Potato

Hope this helps next time you're questioning the value of organics in the grocery store!  There's even an iPhone application put out by the Environment Working Group so you always have the information on the go.  And remember, for farmer's markets and CSAs just ask about growing practices.  

Happy Shopping!