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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Organic Produce vs Conventional Produce

Buying all organic food may be something many of us would like to do, but it's expensive!  If it's not feasible to purchase all of your produce from the organic section, there are certain items that you can rest assured are pretty safe when conventionally grown, while others you'll probably want to pay the extra money for to buy organic.  This is due to the amount of pesticide residue that remains on the food and how easy it is to wash off.  However, if you're buying organic for reasons other than pesticide residue on your food, you'll of course want to buy whatever you can manage that's produced that way.  It all depends on your food philosophies.  Here are two lists that most of you have probably seen before called the "dirty dozen" and the "clean 15."  These lists offer foods that you're better off buying organic if you can (the dirty 12) and those that are pretty safe to eat from conventional sources (the clean 15).

The Dirty 12
1. celery
2. peaches
3. strawberries
4. apples
5. domestic blueberries
6. nectarines
7. sweet bell peppers
8. spinach, kale, collard greens
9. cherries
10. potatoes
11. imported grapes
12. lettuce

*If you can't purchase all of these fruits and vegetables from organic sources, pay attention to those that have a removable peel (apples, potatoes) since that is where most of the pesticide will be.  Those you might consider buying from conventional sources, unless you eat the peel.

The Clean 15
1. onions
2. avocados
3. sweet corn
4. pineapples
5. mango
6. sweet peas
7. asparagus
8. kiwi
9. cabbage
10. eggplant
11. cantaloupe
12. watermelon
13. grapefruit
14. sweet potatoes
15. sweet onions

*notice most of these foods have peels that are removed before being eaten.  Bananas could also be added to this list.

Another note about buying organic, if you buy from a farmer's market or other local source, the cost is usually less than the grocery store, and often very close to that of conventional produce, because the cost of transporting the produce from a far away farm is not an issue.  Just one more reason to buy local :)

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