the dirty dozen


I love summer for the produce. Even in NYC, which is seriously sub-par to California, I eat so much more fresh fruits and veggies during the summer months and pay so much less. Whole Foods certainly throws into perspective the price difference between organic and non-organic produce. While I think Whole Foods prices are particularly suspect (farmers’ markets and CSAs are ways to get delicious organic & local produce for less), it’s hard to find affordable organic produce year round. So, I bring you the dirty dozen: a list of produce that you should try to eat organic because it is most commonly filled with pesticides. Fortunately, there is also a list of produce that is consistently clean, for those of us on a budget or with limited access to organic produce.

I first saw this list in NY Spirit, and was delighted to see it again in my new subscription to Nutrition Action (thanks, Linds!). One thing that Nutrition Actions points out is that eating fruits and vegetables (PERIOD) is more important than anything else. An important reminder for me, because sometimes I can get so caught up in trying to eat organic that I might miss out on eating as many fruits and veggies as I should. In any case, this list should help. Drumroll….

The Dirty Dozen: Peaches, Apples, Sweet Bell Peppers, Celery, Nectarines, Strawberries, Cherries, Pears, Grapes (imported), Spinach, Lettuce, Potatoes (Carrots were up there to)

The Consistently Clean: Papaya, Broccoli, Cabbage, Bananas, Kiwi, Sweet Peas, Asparagus, Mango, Pineapples, Sweet Corn, Avocado (YES!), Onions (Blueberries weren’t terrible either)

2 responses to “the dirty dozen

  1. I see you have “Sweet Corn” on the no-pesticide list… perhaps in some places, but NJ and NY raised sweet corn is one of the most-sprayed crops. We know because we see those guys out there pretty much every two days spraying, all season long. You might think the husk gives you some protection, but the sprays get down into the ear as well to a certain extent.

  2. Guerrilla Health

    Thanks, Eve! That’s helpful. I believe Nutrition Action had listed frozen sweet corn, which obviously could come from anywhere.

    Also, I certainly can tell a difference between organic sweet corn and conventional in taste — the corn from your farm blows my mind, while the convention is just okay.

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