The Dirty Dozen

12 foods you should only buy organic

by Dermot Doherty

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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.

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 strawberries, spinach, kale, nectarines, apples, grapes, peaches, cherries, pears, tomatoes, celery and 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: sweet corn, avocados, pineapples, cabbage, onions, frozen sweet peas, papayas, asparagus, mangoes, eggplant, honeydew melon, kiwi, cantaloupe, cauliflower, and grapefruit.

Eating any of these non-organic should be okay because they should be pretty "clean" and not contains any or many pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, synthetic fertilizers, hormones or chemical growth agents.

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