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  • Carol Kennedy

The Clean 15 & The Dirty Dozen

Eating organically is not often accessible or affordable for a lot of people but if you’d like to make a conscious effort to do so I’ve provided a list of the ‘Dirty Dozen’ that you can focus on to get you started. These are the fruit and vegetables which absorb most pesticides and chemicals from commercial farming and the environment and are most beneficial to either grow yourself or source an organic option.

On the other side of the coin is the ‘Clean 15’. These are fruit and vegetables which are, for the most part, naturally limited in their exposure to pesticides and are protected by a thicker skin. These are generally safe to buy as conventional options from supermarkets, veggie shops etc. There’s no point spending your money on organic options if you don’t really need to.

What are the benefits of eating organic produce?

In addition to the lack of pesticides which can have detrimental effects on consumers' health by increasing their toxic load & disrupting hormones, there is also an increased amount of nutrients available in organic produce.

According to BetterNutrition there is an increase of 27% of vitamin C, 21.1% of iron, 29.3% of magnesium, 13.6% more phosphorus and 18% more polyphenols in organic fruit & veggies compared to conventionally grown produce! Those are huge amounts and all greatly beneficial to supporting your health & hormones!

This is partly due to them being grown in more nutrient dense soil, on a lesser scale and as the pesticides and herbicides are not killing off all the other organisms in the chain.

The Dirty Dozen

The best fruit and veggies to grow at home or buy organic options if you can.

Comprised from the Environmental Working Group and shown in order or most to least contaminated.

  • Apples

  • Celery

  • Capsicum

  • Peaches

  • Strawberries

  • Nectarines

  • Grapes

  • Spinach

  • Lettuce

  • Cucumber

  • Blueberries

  • Potatoes

The Clean 15

The safest options to buy conventionally, just make sure you peel them or wash them in a sink of warm water with 4 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar (or an alternative veggie wash option) before eating or cooking.

  • Onions

  • Sweetcorn

  • Pineapple

  • Avocado

  • Cabbage

  • Peas

  • Asparagus

  • Mango

  • Eggplant

  • Kiwifruit

  • Melon

  • Kumara / Sweet Potatoes

  • Grapefruit

  • Watermelon

  • Mushrooms

In my veggie garden this year I’m growing heaps of spinach, lettuce, rocket, tomatoes, eggplant, capsicum, cucumbers & zucchini….roll on harvesting time!!

If you don’t have the time or space to grow your own, organic fruit & veggies can usually be found in specialist health food stores or supermarkets such as Huckleberry here in New Zealand or at your local farmers markets.

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