If you, like most of us, are on a budget, please don’t use that as an excuse to eat poor quality food. It’s cheaper and better in the long run to take care of your body with good food rather than suffering illness and paying ridiculously enormous medical bills the whole last half of your life.
Since the most important step to health is basing your diet around quality fruits and vegetables, we’re going to tell you something you may not have heard before to help keep your body and your wallet happy. It’s always better to choose food that is close to nature, without pesticides and in an unprocessed form. But, if you can’t find or afford all organic produce at the moment, we’ve posted the official lists published by the Environmental Working Group of which fruits and vegetables are most and least important to buy organic.
The EWG tests produce for pesticide levels, so the Dirty Dozen were the worst, while the Clean Fifteen were the least harmful. Another basic rule is to think about how you eat that particular food. Leafy greens, berries, and other fruits and vegetables where you eat the whole thing, including the outer surface, tend to have higher amounts of poison. Produce with a shell or hard outer surface that is usually discarded, such as the avocado, usually are less hazardous.
The Dirty Dozen
ALWAYS buy organic, highest in pesticides
3. Sweet bell peppers
11. Blueberries – domestic
Plus: Green beans, Kale/Greens – May contain residues of special concern
The Clean Fifteen
Lower in pesticides for when organic isn’t available
2. Sweet Corn
6. Sweet Peas
12. Sweet Potatoes