The Dirty Dozen – I’m Afraid, Are You?

My sister-in-law recently mentioned the term “The Dirty Dozen” when we were talking about organic foods. This term was new to me, and I immediately googled it. It turns out that buying organic of the top 12 foods with the highest amount of pesticides will reduce your pesticide exposure by 80%. That’s a huge number. Here is the list of foods:

1. Peaches
2. Apples
3. Sweet bell peppers
4. Celery
5. Nectarines
6. Strawberries
7. Cherries
8. Pears
9. Grapes (imported)
10. Spinach
11. Lettuce
12. Potatoes

(Check out more on this here.)

I have trouble buying organic. Why? It’s hard to buy an organic apple that costs almost twice as much as the non-organic apple that’s sitting right next to it and looks exactly the same. It’s too bad those pesticides don’t make that apple look different. It would be easy then, but they seem identical, and yet, they are so different. One is healthy and nutritious and the other is swamped with poisonous chemicals to make it look healthy and delicious. After so many years of eating non-organic produce and still being healthy, it’s difficult to make that switch. Ironically, it’s not a question where my baby is concerned. Everything I buy for him is organic.

I look at the The Dirty Dozen, and I am concerned. I eat apples and lettuce daily. Summertime is filled with strawberries. I have celery sitting in my fridge right now. And, who doesn’t love a fresh, juicy peach? I guess I’m just going to have to peel that band-aid and pay the higher costs, constantly reminding myself of the good that I’m doing for myself in the long run.


3 responses to this post.

  1. You know what? If you haven’t already, I think you’ll find that the organic varieties of the dirty dozen are far more delicious than their non-organic brethren. Like you, I had trouble paying twice the cost for something that looked essentially the same – until I tasted it. First of all, as far as apples are concerned, I’m a big believer that apples should NOT, in fact, be the size of your head. Organic fruit always seems to be better aligned with the appropriate serving size. And when that happens, there’s more flavor in each bite, because the apple-y flavor isn’t trying to spread through an unnatural sized piece of fruit!

    You’re doing a great thing for you and the baby, I’m sure he’ll appreciate it when he’s older!


  2. Posted by Melissa on February 27, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    This is very important stuff to know. Thanks for sharing.


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