Avoiding Dirty Dozen Foods While Saving Money

by Nicole on October 27, 2011 · 0 comments

in Organic

Buying organic food when you are on a strict budget is a challenge. Organics simply cost more, and sometimes you have to decide where you are going to spend your grocery money, and where you are going to let your desire to eat organically slide. One way to make better decisions is to avoid non-organic foods that are on the “dirty dozen” list.

This list refers to the most toxic fresh produce options/ organic food  in the United States, as outlined by the Environmental Working Group. This group regularly inspects fresh produce for toxicity, and reports on their findings. When you make your grocery buying decisions, you can make your family much healthier if you buy organic for these twelve items. The newly posted list includes:

  • Apples
  • Celery
  • Strawberries
  • Peaches
  • Spinach
  • Nectarines
  • Grapes
  • Sweet bell peppers
  • Potatoes
  • Blueberries
  • Lettuce
  • Kale/collard greens

Interestingly, almost every one of these organic foods is one you typically eat with the skin on. Foods that you do not eat the skin or rind seem to carry less toxicity. Perhaps this is because some of the toxins stay on the skin, which you will end up throwing away.

That little fact can help you when you are shopping, because remembering all 12 of these foods is challenging, particularly when you are grocery shopping with your kids in tow.

Some foods are less toxic than others, interestingly. The “Clean 15” list contains some of the lowest levels of toxic ingredients, and you can help your grocery budget by buying these as non-organic foods if you have to. This list includes:

  • Onions
  • Corn
  • Pineapples
  • Avocado
  • Asparagus
  • Sweet peas
  • Mangoes
  • Eggplant
  • Sweet melon
  • Kiwi
  • Cabbage
  • Watermelon
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Grapefruit
  • Mushrooms

Some of those foods do not have an inedible rind or skin, but they do not seem to absorb the toxins as readily as other options. This may be because the plants are sprayed before they flower, or it may be because the food is not as prone to absorbing the pesticides. Regardless, if you need to buy some non-organic produce, choose these, and avoid the “dirty dozen.”

About Nicole

Nicole Harms is a freelance writer and a busy mom to two preschool daughters. She received a bachelor’s degree in education from Maranatha Baptist Bible College, but after four years in the classroom she turned in the chalk for the virtual pen. When not researching or writing she is busy chasing her two daughters around or traveling.

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