The Dirty Dozen - When to Buy Organic

Posted at 12:20 PM on Mar 31, 2023

The Dirty Dozen - When to Buy Organic

When to buy organic is one of the many questions we have about nutrition. Organic foods are expensive. There are some foods with higher amounts of pesticides, and it is advised to buy those foods organic. Some foods have the lowest levels of pesticides, and you can save money by not buying them organic.

Buy Organic - Start Small

Small doable changes are the easiest way to begin doing anything new. This means that instead of deciding to buy everything organic, start small. Select certain foods that you will switch to organic. Below we have put together the most important foods to buy organic. A great starting point!

“The Dirty Dozen” - When to Buy Organic

The foods noted below are the 12 “dirtiest” options that should always be purchased organically. These foods are notorious for containing high levels of pesticides. This list is updated by the Environmental Working Group each year; however, few changes have been made over the past decade. These pesticides are chemicals, which are designed to protect delicate food crops from bugs and other pests, may have harmful effects on the body. If we buy these foods organic, this helps limit our exposure to harmful pesticides.

12 Foods to Buy Organic

  1. Apples 
  2. Strawberries
  3. Grapes
  4. Spinach
  5. Kale collard greens, and mustard greens
  6. Peaches
  7. Nectarines
  8. Potatoes
  9. Bell peppers
  10. Cherries
  11. Green beans
  12. Blueberries

When to Buy Organic

“The Clean Fifteen” – Fruits and Veggies with the Least Amount of Pesticides

As mentioned above, certain foods contain higher levels of pesticides than others, making them crucial to buy organic, while other foods have lower levels, making it less critical to buy organic. 

While we recommend buying organic, when possible, here are a few foods that are less critical to buy organically:

  1. Avocados
  2. Sweet corn
  3. Pineapple
  4. Mangoes
  5. Sweet peas
  6. Asparagus
  7. Papaya
  8. Honeydew melons
  9. Cabbage
  10. Mushrooms
  11. Onions
  12. Kiwi
  13. Sweet potatoes
  14. Carrots
  15. Watermelon

Understanding More About Nutrition

Eating organic is just one piece of the nutrition puzzle. If you are like most people, what to eat and what not to eat leaves you scratching your head. We get it. There are so many articles, fad diets, and clever marketing that ultimately just leads us all to be more confused about what to eat and what to avoid. Learn more about keeping it simple by reading our article, “Understanding Nutrition and Making Healthy Food Choices”.

Remember, your doctor is a great resource. Be sure to come prepared for your next visit with your nutrition-related questions. We also offer Weight Loss & Nutritional Counseling services which can be easily scheduled online today.