Buying Organic? Yea or Nay

One of the most direct ways our bodies are exposed to toxins today is by the foods we eat. Conventionally grown fruits and vegetables are being treated with more and more chemicals each year. This begs the question: is buying organic the only way to steer clear of these chemicals? Let?s be honest, at times that can get expensive. Thankfully, the EWG (Environmental Working Group) puts together a list each year that categorizes the fruits and vegetables that are the most and least treated so you can make smarter shopping decisions by buying organically grown foods where you should and conventionally grown foods where you can. Here are the newly released lists for 2014:

Dirty Dozen Plus (Listed starting with the most treated or ?Dirtiest? first)

1. Apple
2. Strawberries
3. Grapes
4. Celery
5. Peaches
6. Spinach
7. Sweet Bell Peppers
8. Nectarines ? Imported
9. Cucumbers
10. Cherry Tomatoes
11. Snap Peas ? Imported
12. Potatoes
13. Hot peppers
14. Kale/Collard Greens

Clean Fifteen (Listed starting with the least treated or ?Cleanest? first)

1. Avocados
2. Sweet Corn
3. Pineapple
4. Cabbage
5. Sweet Peas ? Frozen
6. Onions
7. Asparagus
8. Mangoes
9. Papayas
10. Kiwi
11. Eggplant
12. Grape Fruit
13. Cantaloupe
14. Cauliflower
15. Sweet Potatoes

Resource: http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/

As you can see not every fruit and vegetable is listed on one of the two tables. A good rule of thumb to use for whether or not to buy organic is to look at the skin. The thinner the skin the further those pesticides and chemicals can get into the fruit or vegetable. Therefore if the skin is thin or if you intend to eat the skin or peel, try to buy an organic option. (Such as berries, leafy greens, and apples) If the skin is thick and you will peel it off, buy the conventional option. (Such as oranges, avocados, and melons) Attached here is a PDF version of the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen lists. Print it off, cut along the line and fold for a perfect fit into your wallet! Put them in your purse so you never forget and you?re off to being one step closer to a healthy diet while minimally affecting your pocket book!

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