Organic vs Non-Organic Fruits And Vegetables

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2019 dirty dozen vs clean 15 produce

On today’s episode of Live Lean TV, I’m comparing the health benefits of eating organic vs non-organic fruits and vegetables.

I know what you’re thinking.

The price of organic vs non-organic fruits and vegetables can sometimes be outrageous.

Is it really necessary to buy all organic food?

If all things were equal, the answer would be yes.

I mean who wouldn’t prefer a “clean” apple vs a “dirty” apple who was in bed with Mr. Chemical or Ms. Pesticide?

Did you know that certain fruits and vegetables may put you at a higher risk for disease and cancer?

It’s all about the pesticides being sprayed on our produce.

So on this edition of Food Wars, we’re comparing the “Dirty Dozen” food list vs the “Clean 15” food list.

Lets get right into it.

Should you buy organic or non-organic produce?

However, I’m a realist and obviously understand not everyone can afford to pay the price for organic fruits and vegetables.

Canned vs Frozen vs Fresh Fruits And Vegetables

So regardless if you can afford all organic, just some, or none at all, it still pays to know the fruits and vegetables classified as the “Dirty Dozen” and the “Clean 15”.

The Dirty Dozen & Clean 15 lists were designed by the Environmental Working Group (EWG).

This is a group comprised of scientists, researchers, and policymakers who rank the pesticide contamination of 47 popular fruits and vegetables.

Organic vs non-organic fruits and vegetables

Organic vs Non-Organic Fruits And Vegetables

2019 dirty dozen vs clean 15 fruits and vegetables

Use the following lists to help you determine which organic fruits and vegetables are best to invest in, based on pesticide levels, and which ones you can get away with buying non-organic.

The dirty dozen food list contains 12 fruits and vegetables that have been found to have the highest pesticide residue.

Therefore, when your budget allows, you should be buying these fruits and vegetables organic.

The clean 15 food list contains 15 fruits and vegetables that have been tested to show less pesticide residue.

So if needed, you can save money, and simply purchase these fruits and vegetables non-organic.

The 3 Best Healthy Frozen Fruit & Vegetables

2019 dirty dozen foods list: highest in pesticides

Buy organic when possible.

Note: this video was filmed in 2012.

Every year the EWG releases an updated dirty dozen foods list.

Berries - Fitness Super Food #4

The list below is the updated 2019 dirty dozen food list:

  1. Strawberries
  2. Spinach
  3. Kale
  4. Nectarines
  5. Apples
  6. Grapes
  7. Peaches
  8. Cherries (new to the list since 2012)
  9. Pears (new to the list since 2012)
  10. Tomatoes (new to the list since 2012)
  11. Celery
  12. Potatoes

Fruits and vegetables no longer listed in the dirty dozen

As mentioned, the dirty dozen list is updated every year.

Organic vs Non-Organic Fruits And Vegetables

In the video, the following fruits and vegetables were on the dirty dozen list in 2012, however they have fallen out of the top 12:

  • Sweet bell peppers: now ranked #13
  • Lettuce: now ranked #15
  • Cucumbers: now ranked #16
  • Blueberries: now ranked #17
  • Green Beans: now ranked #20

Let’s move on to the other side, the clean 15 food list.

2019 clean 15 foods list: lowest in pesticides

If you’re on a budget, save your money and go non-organic, if needed.

Spinach - Fitness Superfood #11

The list below is the updated 2019 clean 15 food list:

  1. Avocado
  2. Sweet corn
  3. Pineapple
  4. Sweet peas frozen
  5. Onion
  6. Papaya (new to the list since 2012)
  7. Eggplant
  8. Asparagus
  9. Kiwi
  10. Cabbage
  11. Cauliflower (new to the list since 2012)
  12. Cantaloupe
  13. Broccoli (new to the list since 2012)
  14. Mushroom
  15. Honeydew melon (new to the list since 2012)

Fruits and vegetables no longer listed in the clean 15

As mentioned, the EWG updates the clean 15 list every year.

Sweet Potato - Fitness Super Food #9

In the video, the following fruits and vegetables were on the clean 15 list in 2012, however they have fallen out of the top 15:

Bottom line on organic vs non-organic fruits and vegetables

Can Fruit Make You Fat?

Eat your fruits and vegetables.

The goal of this post is not to scare you away from eating non-organic fruit and vegetables on the dirty dozen foods.

It’s very important to note that your body still gets more nutritional benefits from eating non-organic fruits and vegetables that contain pesticides, then not eating them at all.

So regardless if you can afford all organic produce, or none at all, listen to your mom and eat your fruits and vegetables.

Organic vs Non-Organic Fruits And Vegetables

Invest money with the dirty dozen and save money with the Clean 15

But if you have the option to buy the organic varieties of the dirty dozen foods, do it.

Then, if you are on a budget, save your money and buy the non-organic varieties of the clean 15 fruits and vegetables.

So once again, I always want you to eat your fruit and vegetables.

That is it for another edition of Food Wars.


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Questions For You:

  • Which fruits and vegetables do you focus on buying organic?
  • Which ones do you tend to buy non-organic?
  • Do you notice a substantial increase in your grocery bills if you buy organic?

Let me know in the comment section below.

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8 responses to “Organic vs Non-Organic Fruits And Vegetables

  1. I ALWAYS buy organic greens (salad, kale, swiss chard(if possible), spinach, etc.)
    ALWAYS apples, Sweet potatoes…..and if available berries. Otherwise I do the best
    I can. Organic is sooooo expensive.

    Don’t technically buy certified organic meats, however, they are no hormone and no antibiotics. Red meat is always grass fed or bison.

    Try to keep it as clean as possible in that regard.

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