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The Dirty Dozen

Most of us know that organic is better. Whether we are talking about fruits, vegetables, meats, or any other type of product, organic is usually healthier and also more expensive. The website www.organic.org defines organic simply as “organic produce and other ingredients are grown without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, genetically modified organisms, or ionizing radiation. Animals that produce meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products do not take antibiotics or growth hormones.”But what do we do when we cannot afford to go all organic? What types of produce should we always get organic and what types are not as necessary? According to a list from Yahoo Health, the following list encompasses the dirty dozen of produce.

1. Peaches 2. Apples 3. Sweet Bell Peppers 4. Celery 5. Nectarines 6. Strawberries 7. Cherries 8. Lettuce 9. Grapes 10. Pears 11. Spinach 12. Potatoes

While all produce should be washed thoroughly before consumption, here is a list of the 12 cleanest produce items.

1. Onions 2. Avocado 3. Sweet Corn (frozen) 4. Pineapples 5. Mango 6. Sweet Peas (frozen) 7. Asparagus 8. Kiwi 9. Bananas 10. Cabbage 11. Broccoli 12. Eggplant

Fresh, organic produce is always best. Growing a garden with organic soil without using fertilizers or pesticides is a great alternative to buying from grocery stores. If growing produce is not your forte, local farmer’s markets are a great place to pick up some organic produce. A fairly reliable rule of thumb that I tend to use for produce is if you eat the skin, go organic. If you eat the inside and not the skin, typically going organic is not as necessary. Again, when possible, all organic is the healthiest way to go.