Organic vs. Conventional: Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 of 2011

Free Download: 2011 Produce Pocket Guide

Organic vs. Conventionally grown fruits and vegetables: Which is best?

The taste of Organic is much more vibrant and robust than conventionally grown fruits and vegetables in many cases.  Organic is truly the way Nature intended the fruit or vegetable to be grown and consumed, not sprayed with harmful chemicals to kill bugs.   It’s only natural that as leaves and fruits absorbs moisture to grow, it will absorb the chemicals sprayed on it.  When washing organic fruits and vegetables,  make sure to thoroughly wash and check every leaf for insects.  Many times, the insects are still alive in Romaine lettuce, and that’s a good thing.  Simply wash well and you will have no worries.

As for organic apples, they definitely are one of our favorite snacks to have in the kitchen. Simply put, they just taste better.   Before being hooked on organic apples, I used to buy conventional.  As they sat on the counter for a while, I noticed that no matter how long they sat there,untouched, their appearance was just as fresh looking as day one.  After two weeks, I decided it was time to give the apples to the squirrels by our bird feeder.  I checked nearly every week to see if they had been eaten, only to find they had not been touched by the squirrels, nor had they began to break down.  It was then, that I concluded that if it takes a conventional apple more than a month to break down, and the squirrels won’t touch it, I’m not sure I want my family eating them.  Sure enough, Apples made #1 on the 2011 Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen list, citing it to be found with the most pesticide residue on it.

Now with the latest results found by the Environmental Working Group on which fruits and vegetables have the most pesticide residue, you have even more reason to make sure to buy organic, at least the items on the Dirty Dozen list.  Conversely, the same group, the EWG, also publishes a Clean 15 list to coincide with the Dirty Dozen in order to offer consumers an economical alternative to buying only organic.  The Environmental Working Group compiles their data from USDA data.

Here are the lists:

Dirty Dozen 2011
  1. Apples
  2. Celery
  3. Strawberries
  4. Peaches
  5. Spinach
  6. Nectarines (imported)
  7. Grapes (imported)
  8. Sweet bell peppers
  9. Potatoes
  10. Blueberries (domestic)
  11. Lettuce
  12. Kale/collard greens

Clean Fifteen 2011
  1. Onions
  2. Sweet corn
  3. Pineapples
  4. Avocado
  5. Asparagus
  6. Sweet peas
  7. Mangoes
  8. Eggplants
  9. Cantaloupe (domestic)
  10. Kiwi
  11. Cabbage
  12. Watermelon
  13. Sweet potatoes
  14. Grapefruit
  15. Mushrooms

Resource:  Print your own pocket guide to this year’s cleanest and dirtiest fruits and vegetables as defined by the EWG:  2011 Produce Pocket Guide

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