The Dirty Dozen: 12 Foods You Should Buy Organic

Organic food can be expensive compared to conventionally grown food. Sometimes we have to optimize our spending by prioritizing which foods we buy organic and which foods we are okay with eating non-organic.
by on Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Why & How to Avoid the Most Chemically Covered Foods

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Organic food can be expensive compared to conventionally grown food. Sometimes we have to optimize our spending by prioritizing which foods we buy organic and which foods we are okay with eating non-organic.

Do we just pick at random which to choose?

The “Dirty Dozen” is a good trick for remembering which fruits and vegetables we should always seek to buy organic. It is a list of 12 fruits and vegetables that you should always buy organic due to the amount of agrochemicals used when conventionally grown.

Each year, the EWG (Environmental Working Group) publishes its Dirty 12™, a list of 12 fruits and vegetables that are atop the list.

The 2017 Dirty Dozen are:

  1. Strawberries
  2. Spinach
  3. Kale
  4. Nectarines
  5. Apples
  6. Grapes
  7. Peaches
  8. Cherries
  9. Pears
  10. Tomatoes
  11. Celery
  12. Potatoes

If you buy any of these fruits or vegetables a good rule of thumb is to always buy organic, and if you can’t get these organic it is always wise to peel the skin. Adhering to the Dirty Dozen is a good way of optimizing your organic food intake and financial expenditure.

The EWG also publishes a yearly list of the top 15 cleanest fruits and vegetables. These are the fruits and vegetables that have the least amount of chemicals used in their production.

Here are the Clean Fifteen for 2017: 

  1. Sweet corn
  2. Avocados
  3. Pineapples 
  4. Cabbage 
  5. Onions
  6. Frozen sweet peas
  7. Papaya 
  8. Asparagus 
  9. mangoes
  10. Eggplant
  11. Honeydew melon
  12. Kiwi
  13. Cantaloupe
  14. Cauliflower
  15. Grapefruit

Eating any of these non-organic should be okay, because they’re pretty “clean” and do not contain any or many pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, synthetic fertilizers, hormones or chemical growth agents.


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