I get it – you’d like to join me on the detox, but you’re not crazy about buying organic, because it’s more expensive. The cost of groceries, gas, and rents have grown much faster than our paychecks, and that means we have to make more financial decisions, but are you being “penny wise and dollar stupid?” Consider the ramifications of eating pesticide laden foods (especially when it comes to children whose young bodies are still growing and developing). Battling an illness that stems from eating unnecessary toxins is a much more expensive proposition!

Think about how "we are what we eat"

Think about how “we are what we eat”

First, let me bust a myth right off the bat: You can wash some fertilizers off of your fruit and vegetables, but you cannot wash pesticides off of produce!  Pesticides do not just sit on the exterior – they permeate the flesh of most fruit or vegetables. Some more so than others, so if you really must buy conventional it is best to avoid the “Dirty Dozen” and choose from the “Clean Fifteen.”

Having said that, we are talking about foods rich in minerals and vitamins our bodies need, and eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetable is preferable for optimal health, so do splurge occasionally and buy organic versions of the dirty dozen. Remember, “you are what you eat!”

Buying in season will help keep cost down

Buying in season will help keep cost down

Why not invest in your future by eating healthier?

Always try to buy organic from this list of fruits and vegetables to avoid letting potentially harmful chemicals that accumulate in your body over time. These foods are known to have the highest concentration of pesticides.

The Dirty Dozen

  1. Apples (and apple juice)
  2. Celery
  3. Strawberries
  4. Peaches
  5. Spinach
  6. Nectarines
  7. Grapes
  8. Sweet Bell peppers
  9. Potatoes
  10. Blueberries
  11. Lettuce
  12. Kale /Collard Greens
The Clean Fifteen has lower residue levels

The Clean Fifteen will have lower residue levels

The “clean 15” have lower residue levels because fewer pesticides are needed to protect the crops from insects. If there truly is no where else you can cut back in your budget to cover the cost of organic (ie. stop smoking, skip the wine, go to one less movie a month), then you might want to consider buying conventional from the “the clean fifteen”. Researchers say we can reduce the potential toxins consumed by 92% when we choose the recommended five servings of fresh produce from “the clean fifteen”, rather than “the dirty dozen”.

The Clean Fifteen

  1. Onions
  2. Sweet Corn
  3. Pineapples
  4. Avocados
  5. Asparagus
  6. Sweet Peas
  7. Mangoes
  8. Eggplant
  9. Cantaloupe
  10. Kiwis
  11. Cabbage
  12. Watermelon
  13. Sweet Potatoes
  14. Grapefruit
  15. Mushrooms

Remember, you don’t really want any of those chemicals in your system, if you can avoid them. It’s kinda like saying you can consume a teaspoon of arsenic and it won’t kill you. Why would you want to consume any poison if you didn’t have to?

Growing your own organic produce can keep cost down

Growing your own organic produce can keep cost down

We all know organic is more expensive. Growing your own is one way to fight the cost of organic, however, nowadays organic is much more available in grocery stores across the country than it used to be. Increased demand and supply brings prices down. You ‘vote organic’ every time you purchase organic. Try to buy produce in season when it’s at peak flavor, and a lot less expensive than buying out of season. Compare prices, and decide if those few cents difference are really worth the risk to your health. Budgeting is really all about priorities – shouldn’t your health be at the top of that list?

The Personal Chef Approach to cooking will help you save those crucial dollars too. When you shop with a plan in hand and buy only what you need, then cook all your meals for the week ahead while those groceries are at their freshest – nothing goes to waste. That puts money back in your pocket that would cover the cost of buying organic more often, so it’s a win-win! Watch the video above to see how it works, and join now.

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  • April 2, 2014
    5:35 am

    Thank you for this post Jewels. So informative and so important.
    I have a copy of your Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen on my fridge.

  • April 6, 2014
    2:37 pm

    I will be printing this an posting on my frig.as a reminder when I shop!

  • April 14, 2015
    4:12 pm

    I really appreciate having the list of the dirty veg versus the clean ones! I agree that spending the extra is necessary if you want to stay healthy. Hopefully, I can get out to a new produce shop that opened near my flat and check out what they have and the prices. Once I get an idea of what they carry, I can get my grocery shopper to stop in there for the fresh produce that I need on my shopping day. Thank you for the help Jewels! I know I really needed the info on what the dirty produce actually was and where I could get away with regular produce.