Feeding your family healthy foods is an important job in any parent’s daily schedule. A large part of keeping our family healthy is providing them a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. However, we all are trying to balance making healthy decisions with saving money!
When I share how I save money on organic produce, I always mention that I don't buy all of my produce from the organic section. I use the Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 as my guide. The list is put out each year by the Environmental Working Group. They analyze commercially grown produce, list the produce that has the highest levels of contamination on their Dirty Dozen list and the produce with the lowest levels of contamination on their Clean Fifteen list. This helps me make an informed decision when buying fruits and vegetables for my family at the store.
The list also helps me when planning my garden each year. I try to grow as many of the items on the dirty dozen list in my garden, so that I can ensure they are grown without pesticides and chemicals.
The Dirty Dozen
These items have the highest levels of pesticide residue on them, so it is best to try to purchase these organic when possible.
- Sweet bell peppers
- Nectarines (imported)
- Cherry tomatoes
- Hot peppers
It is also recommended to buy zucchini, yellow crookneck squash, kale, and collards from the organic section.
The Clean 15
When it comes to the Clean 15, buying organic might still be a better option, but these items contain lower amounts of pesticide residue and can easily be cleaned and safely eaten.
- Sweet peas
- Sweet potatoes
These lists can help you decide what produce to buy organic and which fruits and vegetables you can save money on by shopping from the regular produce section.