When shopping at the grocery store, we're surrounded by organic foods. While they're a very healthy and clean option, buying everything organic can get downright expensive. Produce can be labeled organic if it's certified to have grown on soil that had no synthetic fertilizers or pesticides within three years prior to harvest. 

Some are more naturally clean and do not pose as many of those health risks, we call those the Clean 15. We are going to discuss the opposite end of the spectrum called the Dirty Dozen.

The Dirty Dozen is a list of 12 produce items that are naturally found to have more pesticides and harmful potential health effects according to the US Department of Agriculture. When possible purchase the dirty dozen items in the organic section.

Purchasing these foods organic allows us to not have to worry about some of those harmful effects of pesticides, fertilizers, etc. When we look at the dirty dozen list, typically year after year, we see three items that top the list.

We call those the dirtiest of the dirty:

  1. strawberries
  2. spinach
  3. kale/collard greens/mustard greens

The rest of the list has items such as apples, grapes, bell peppers, cherries, peaches, pears, celery, and tomatoes.

When you're making your next grocery list, make sure to take the Dirty Dozen into consideration and find those items certified organic. 

Timothy Klesk

Timothy Klesk


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