Dirty Dozen: Produce you should buy organic


It’s no secret that a lot of our produce is sprayed with harmful pesticides like glyphosate and atrazine. These chemicals can wreck havoc on our bodies and cause inflammation which we know, is the number one cause of chronic disease. Well, we unfortunately cannot get away from these harmful chemicals without buying local or organic produce, which can get a little pricey. The dirty dozen is known as the 12 most sprayed produce items on the market; so today I am sharing the dirty dozen items and why you should splurge and buy them organic!

Effects of harmful pesticides

Pesticides are “a substance used for destroying insects or other organisms harmful to cultivated plants or to animals.” Therefore, these chemicals are sprayed on EVERYTHING. Our produce (and food in general) is grown with mass production in mind. The more farmers can grow and get into the stores, the more money they are able to make. It is less about quality, and more about quantity. Unfortunately, the amount of goods produced (and money made) depends on crops successfully growing and making it into stores. The cheapest way to do so is to spray them with chemicals so organisms do not eat/damage them. These horrible chemicals get inside our systems (when we consume the food) and that is where the health concerns kick in. These include:

• Breast, prostate, brain, bone, thyroid, colon, liver, lung cancers

• Diabetes

• Obesity

• Parkinsons

•  Infertility

• Autism

• Hormonal imbalance

• Depression/anxiety

And before you say that it takes A LOT of pesticides to form these diseases remember, you can prevent them. Why not spend a few extra dollars to limit your exposure and drastically decrease your chances of getting these horrible side effects.

2018 Dirty Dozen produce

There are 12 produce items that are sprayed more than any other product. Dr. Axe explains

“The United States Department of Agriculture tests found 230 different pesticides and pesticide breakdown products on thousands of produce samples analyzed. Environmental Working group analyzed USDA pesticide residue data and found that almost 70 percent of non-organic produce sampled tested positive for pesticide contamination.”

That is a whole lot of chemicals, and they are going straight into your body! I am here to share with you the 12 most sprayed produce items that I HIGHLY SUGGEST you splurge and buy organic!

#1: Strawberries

#2: Spinach

#3: Nectarines

#4: Apples

#5: Grapes

#6: Peaches

#7: Cherries

#8: Pears

#9: Celery

#10: Tomatoes

#11: Potatoes

#12: Sweet Bell Peppers

I want to remind you, these pesticides were tested for and found AFTER they were cleaned and prepped to eat. These harmful chemicals can withstand a lot, and that includes scrubbing them. I know that buying organic can be expensive, but it is important to do whatever you can to limit your exposure to toxins (especially when you have control over it).

Ways to buy organic (for cheaper)

As I said, I know that buying organic is hard. 1 good thing is that along with the dirty dozen, there is a clean fifteen! That means, fifteen items that are rarely (or at least less) sprayed than others are okay to buy without being organic. But, if you are looking to start buying organic, here are a few options:

Imperfect produce: This is a company that actually ships organic produce to your door! It takes “ugly” produce that cannot be sold in store and has created a monthly subscription! It’s genius, really. It can cost anywhere between $15-$43 a month depending on how much you want! You can also get just veggies, just fruit or a mixture of both!

Farmers Markets: Great place to buy not only organic, but local produce! Usually the prices will either be the same as the grocery store, or cheaper. There is usually some sort of seasonal “map” you can use to determine what you mind find that week at the market. And a tip form the pros, if you show up at the end you can usually get a discount from the farmers trying to get rid of their produce!

Buy in bulk: If you find an item on sale, just buy extra and freeze it! This way you are getting the cheaper price and if you know it is something you will utilize later, then you are saving money!

I will always encourage you to buy organic, but I know it is not in everyones budget. But make sure you are at least trying to buy organic when you can, and even utilizing things like meal delivery companies that have organic options. I promise you that spending a few extra dollars on organic produce will make all the difference in doctor bills down the road.


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Haley Rowe June 23, 2018