When I am working with people on their food choices, they always ask me about organic verses inorganic fruits and vegetables. I let them know that “organic” is best, but sometimes we have to watch our budgets. In fact, I don’t know anyone who has an endless budget for food, so make your choices wisely. Even I have to make hard choices sometimes when choosing “healthier” foods. So, here is a list for the Dirty Dozen (fruits & vegetables that are sprayed with lots of pesticides & herbicides).


1. Apples
2. Bell peppers
3. Blueberries
4. Celery
5. Cherries
6. Grapes (imported)
7. Kale/collard greens
8. Nectarines
9. Peaches/pears
10. Potatoes
11. Red raspberries/strawberries
12. Spinach

So, it is best to buy organic from this list. Then there is the Clean 15.


1. Avocadoes
2. Onions
3. Sweet corn (non GMO)
4. Pineapple
5. Mangos
6. Sweet peas
7. Cantaloupe
8. Plums
9. Asparagus
10. Kiwi
11. Eggplant
12. Watermelon
13. Grapefruit
14. Sweet potato
15. Honeydew melon

On this list you can shop freely and buy non-organic. This really helps out with your food budget, since organic produce is always more expensive. Save pennies, nickels and dimes wherever you can so you can afford other foods that are healthy such as organic dairy and meats. It is best to buy grass-fed meats, but organic is acceptable. It all depends on your food budget. Now, go out and have fun shopping! Remember, food shopping isn’t simply about filling up your food cart, it’s about making intelligent choices as you’re not shopping for food, but you’re shopping for HEALTH!

Created by: Donna McIntosh, MS, CHFS