The Dirty Dozen - What to buy organic and what to save on

The "dirty dozen" is an unofficial naughty list for produce that helps you make smarter budgeting choices when trying to improve your health and buying more organic foods.  Obviously all organic is ideal, but not always practical.

There are a few nonnegotiables in our house when it comes to foods. We purchase only organic milk and organic free range (as in not in a giant barn but actually outside in the grass) eggs.  I do try to use organic meats wherever we can, but these do get pricey. Luckily, my husband prefers to sustainably and humanely hunt for our meat.  It's significantly leaner and has none of the nasties that commercially farmed animals tend to pick up.

But produce is another thing altogether! Growing your own is ideal, but if you can't, the dirty dozen list is a great guideline to help you make smarter produce purchases.

12 Most Contaminated - These are the ones you should aim to buy organic.

  • Peaches

  • Apples

  • Sweet Bell Peppers

  • Celery

  • Nectarines

  • Strawberries

  • Cherries

  • Pears

  • Grapes (Imported)

  • Spinach

  • Lettuce

  • Potatoes


12 Least Contaminated - These you can buy conventional if your budget is a little tight.

  • Onions

  • Avocado

  • Sweet Corn (Frozen)

  • Pineapples

  • Mango

  • Asparagus

  • Sweet Peas (Frozen)

  • Kiwi Fruit

  • Bananas

  • Cabbage

  • Broccoli

  • Papaya


If you're using any kind of supplements or meal replacements, check that the ingredients are non GMO and don't use artificial sweeteners or preservatives wherever possible.  And if youre not sure or need a hand, feel free to contact me. I'll be happy to help!

HealthTarryne West