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Organic? Yes or No?

Every time I walk through the produce aisle and see the prices for organic fruits and vegetables, I always think, do I need to spend the extra money on organic? There's so much conflicting information out there that it's sometimes hard to justify the extra cost without knowing the "why."

So, let's start with the basics. What is organic? Organic is defined as: of, relating to, yielding, or involving the use of food produced with the use of feed or fertilizer of plant or animal origin without employment of chemically formulated fertilizers, growth stimulants, antibiotics, or pesticides.

Did you know?

Currently over six billion pounds of pesticides are used throughout the globe each year and not only do those pesticides impact our food, but also our air and water. By farming organically, there is less pesticides used which results in a much more sustainable method long term.

Pesticides have been linked to the following health risks:

  • Hormone disruption

  • Skin, eye and lung irritation

  • Brain and nervous system toxicity

  • Cancer

Even knowing all of this and wanting to buy everything organic, doesn't mean that it's always possible. So, in order to help you, and me, choose which veggies and fruits to pay the higher price I've sourced the dirty dozen below from the Environmental Working Group (EWG). Each year the EWG puts together the list of 12 fruits and veggies that have the highest pesticide residues.

The "Dirty Dozen:"

  1. Strawberries

  2. Spinach

  3. Kale

  4. Nectarines

  5. Apples

  6. Grapes

  7. Peaches

  8. Cherries

  9. Pears

  10. Tomatoes

  11. Celery

  12. Potatoes

The EWG also provides a list of the "cleanest" fruits and veggies. If you're on a budget or not able to find a lot of organic options at your market, plan to grab the following produce in a non-organic format.

The "Clean 15:"

  1. Avocados

  2. Sweet corn

  3. Pineapples

  4. Sweet peas (frozen)

  5. Onions

  6. Papayas

  7. Eggplants

  8. Asparagus

  9. Kiwis

  10. Cabbage

  11. Cauliflower

  12. Cantaloupes

  13. Broccoli

  14. Mushrooms

  15. Honeydew

Regardless if you buy conventional or organic. It's always important to wash your fruits and veggies thoroughly.

How to wash your fruits and vegetables:

1. In a large bowl add four parts water to one part white vinegar

2. Soak the veggies/fruit for 20 minutes in the bowl.

3. Rinse thoroughly.

Pro tip: Right when you come home from the grocery store wash and prep all of your fruits and veggies. This way they will be ready whenever you need them!

I hope this blesses you and your family! Keep in mind that it's always about progress not perfection. This week was the first week I brought home organic strawberries - I gulped a bit at the price - but felt good knowing that I was putting something good into my body and my families.

Blessings and healthy living to you and your family,


Source: Environmental Working Group, and Food News,, and Integrative Nutrition LLC.

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