Meal Prep

Organic Or Not? Navigating the Produce Section

It has come to my attention that a lot of people are unaware of the dangers of pesticides on fruits and vegetables. I’ve also noticed that people do not seem to know what you MUST buy organic, versus other veggies and fruits that don’t necessarily HAVE to be organic. Some fruits and vegetables are not sprayed as heavily as others and some have very thick skins so if they ARE sprayed, pesticides do not seep through and saturate the crop.

I will list out what I always buy organic (you could not pay me to eat conventional celery), where I find it the cheapest (–>helpful for those in the Birmingham, Alabama area), and what I do not always buy organic. 

Dirty Dozen AKA BUY ORGANIC per (pesticide cannot be washed off of these – celery actually acts like a sponge and absorbs all the nasty chemicals – YUCK talk about asking to get cancer!)

  1. Spinach (I buy organic girl brand in huge tubs from Whole foods)
  2. Apples (cheap at Whole Foods and Sprouts, my fav is pink lady)
  3. Celery (Whole Foods and Sprouts)
  4. Cucumber (Whole Foods and Sprouts)
  5. Strawberries (I always buy frozen organic from Whole Foods since I mainly use these in shakes and frozen lasts longer than fresh!)
  6. Sweet bell peppers (red/yellow; green ones don’t have to be organic and they are CHEAP! yay! – Whole Foods/Sprouts)
  7. Regular potatoes (honestly I never eat regular potatoes I only eat sweet but I pretty much buy all produce from WF it’s cheaper than Publix…and I do not shop at WalMart)
  8. Peaches (rarely eat these to be honest)
  9. Nectarines (same…rarely eat them, but, apparently you should always buy organic)
  10. Cherries
  11. Imported grapes (who knew it was specific to imported grapes only? I do buy organic wine only, actually, and Winn Dixie has a few good options; so does Whole Foods of course)
  12. Lettuce (often on sale for cheap at Whole Foods!)

Now the following below are the 12 least contaminated. As long as you know the dirty dozen though and always do your best to buy those organic, you will be doing pretty well!

  1. Onions
  2. Avocado (thick skin!)
  3. Bananas (again, thick skin; I buy TONS of bananas constantly and I will peel them and cut in half and freeze them in large quantities for shakes and because they are so cheap and healthful)
  4. Sweet corn (I don’t eat corn)
  5. Pineapples (thick skin)
  6. Mango (love love mango)
  7. Asparagus (I love asparagus!! I buy this weekly-very cheap at Publix and Sprouts-this is the 1 produce that is a little higher at Whole Foods, actually)
  8. Sweet peas (I never eat these…? )
  9. Kiwi
  10. Cabbage
  11. Broccoli (I eat this pretty much daily! Cheap at Whole foods or Publix or Sprouts)
  12. Papaya* (Actually, I have read that you should buy this one organic due to the fact it is a genetically modified try to buy this one organic as GMOs are awful and should not be supported.)

So there is my list! Figure out your favs and you can save money buy selecting those from the “don’t have to be organic” list! Notice that blueberries are not on the dirty dozen! So you can save money on those and get non-organic ones if needed. Always try to support your local farmer if possible…

Now go eat your veggies! Aim for 6-7 servings per day. cheers!

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