The Quick and Simple Guide to the Dirty Dozen

I love feeding my family the best I can. Healthy food that helps them learn, grow, and thrive. I wish I could afford to buy EVERYTHING ORGANIC but, the fact is I do have a budget to keep so I have to make concessions. When it comes to making informed decisions on what to buy organic whenever I possibly can. The dirty dozen are the top of my buy organic list and I always have my eye out for a deal on them to stock up.

How to shop for the dirty dozen

The foods on the Dirty Dozen list should be purchased Organic whenever possible.

Apples – When I tried an organic apple for the first time I fell in love. Organic was not something that was part of my childhood so I had no idea what I was missing. You can really taste the difference in flavor with organic apples is astounding. Convincing my husband to try the less than perfect apples was a challenge but he quickly agreed with me that they are amazing.

Strawberries – Strawberries grow mold incredibly fast. Because of this mold farmers often spray them with fungicides that lower the overall quality of the fruit while placing them in chemicals. We love to grow our own strawberries in pots where we can treat them with vinegar to keep the mold and ants away. Who doesn’t love homemade strawberry jam?

Grapes – I remember having a grape vine in the backyard as a little girl. Oh, how I loved the fresh juicy grapes, even if I was not a fan of the thorns.  Grapes are good for fighting aging. Sadly conventionally grown grapes are dripping in pesticides that fight against your health.

Celery – celery ranks at the top pf the dirty dozen due to continuously having the highest concentration of pesticides inside the vegetable. When you think about it celery is a high concentration of water so it makes sense that it picks up all of the junk in the ground.

Peaches – Fresh peaches are a favorite fruit for many. They also have some of the highest concentrations of pesticides making buying them organic whenever you can the best option. You just don’t want to ruin an amazing recipe like these sweet tea poached peaches with toxic chemical junk.

Spinach – We love spinach as the base of our salads. You get such a nutritional punch from it. Organic baby spinach is widely available at pretty much any supermarket around. Due high concentrations of residue people are demanding organic for this leafy vegetable.

This simple Dirty Dozen guide will help you give your family the best.

Bell peppers – I love using bell peppers to pack flavor into dishes. From omelets for classic meats they have so much flavor. Bell peppers are packed with antioxidants and even more vitamin C than oranges. They are perfect for growing organically at home to reduce your pesticide exposure and save a little money.

Nectarines – Nectarines are one of the cost contaminated fruits that grow on trees. Often imported nectarines can be found covered is strong pesticides. Imported grown produce foods should never be the top of your grocery list because the safety is questionable. As much as possible you should look for locally grown food.

Cherry tomatoes – Cherry tomatoes small size leaves them with more surface area to be covered in pesticide residue. If you can not get these organic be sure to really scrub them to help reduce the toxic overload. My son loves munching on these so I grab them on sale and freeze some for cooking leaving the rest for snacks.

Snap peas – Imported snap peas are often found to be high in pesticides. A great way to keep your family healthy is to grow these yourself. You can grow more than you need during the summer and preserve them for the rest of the ear. These are amazingly easy to grow.

Potatoes – Most of the nutrition value in potatoes can be found in the skin. Which sadly is where you are more likely to find the most pesticides due to the chemicals that seep deep into the ground. By choosing organic potatoes you can get all of the nutrition and none of the junk.

Blueberries – This super food is jam packed with antioxidants but when conventionally grown they are covered in pesticide residue. They are small and have so much room for pesticides to hang out.  Organic blueberries taste sweeter and better. Check for a local you-pick farm for a fun and money saving activity.


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