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Selective Organic-ness: The Dirty Dozen

Organic produce dirty dozenWhen my daughter began to eat baby food, I worried about what I was feeding her. Should I make her baby food at home? Should I be buying organic?

But as a first-time mom, the sheer number of “important, life-shaping” decisions overwhelmed me, so I eventually succumbed to what was easiest & most familiar.

Shortly after my second child started eating regular food, I came across an article online that listed “The 12 fruits and vegetables that contain the most pesticide residue.” The article said that by buying the organic versions of these 12 foods, you can eliminate up to 90% of your pesticide intake. For some reason, a lightbulb went on in my head (or maybe I was just coming out of my sleep-deprived new-parent fog)– I don’t have to buy EVERYTHING organic!

That article gave me some place to start where I felt like I could make a real difference in my children’s health, without going entirely organic. So after pleading my case to my husband, I gave him a list of the organic foods that we should buy.

It took us both a while to get used to it (the lists that we kept in our wallets became well-worn), but I really feel like we’re not only helping give our kids a healthy start, we’re also helping to support the farmers who go the extra mile to produce these foods. And as an added bonus, even my husband has gotten into the habit of reading labels and trying to make healthier choices when he goes to the grocery store.

Here is the list (according to the Environmental Working Group) of the 12 fruits and vegetables that have the most pesticide residue, commonly known as the Dirty Dozen Produce.

The Dirty Dozen Produce

  • Peaches
  • Apples
  • Bell Peppers
  • Celery
  • Nectarines
  • Strawberries
  • Cherries
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Imported Grapes
  • Carrots
  • Pears

You can find the full list of the 47 fruits and vegetables that they tested at Food News