organic eating in middle age

Spring Produce: What Should You Buy Organic?

As I was doing my grocery shopping the other day, I saw a lot of beautiful and colorful fruits and veggies in the produce section. Why, of course, it must be Spring!

There’s no better time to try out new recipes or explore some new foods than now. But before you do, it’s important to know what foods are necessary to buy organic or not.

According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), organic foods are those that were produced without synthetic chemicals or fertilizers, genetic engineering, radiation, or sewage sludge.

While organic foods can cost a little more than the non-organic version, I believe the quality of our food is the last thing we should try to cut corners on. Remember, healthy, whole foods are always an investment, not an expense. You can pay a little more now or a lot more later.

What’s more, supporting organic farming has a ton of benefits in the short and long term, so I do try to purchase organic when it’s available, especially if the produce I want to buy is a Dirty Dozen item.

If you’re not sure what the Dirty Dozen is, it’s the twelve fruits and veggies that contain the highest amount of pesticides. The EWG refreshes this list every year.

What this means is that if you want to buy a fruit or veggie that is on the Dirty Dozen list, they suggest you purchase the organic form if it’s available.

Once in awhile I can’t find the organic version of something I really need for a recipe, so I’ll buy the non-organic. While it’s not ideal, the times I do this are few and far between so I don’t worry too much about it.

Also, when you think about the restaurants you frequent, many probably don’t use organic ingredients unless they indicate it, so this is another reason to make your own food – you know exactly what’s in it because you picked it out yourself!

So before you do your grocery shopping for the week, I wanted to share with you the EWG’s Dirty Dozen for 2017 so that you can make the best and healthiest produce choices for yourself.

Again, the Dirty Dozen are the twelve foods you want to buy organic. They are as follows:

  • Strawberries
  • Spinach
  • Nectarines
  • Apples
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Cherries
  • Grapes
  • Celery
  • Tomatoes
  • Sweet Bell Peppers
  • Potatoes
  • Hot Peppers (this makes 13, but they added it in this year)

If you want to learn more about the EWG and the Dirty Dozen, you can find more information here.

Next time you head to the grocery store to do your shopping, be sure to take the Dirty Dozen list with you – I always do!