The 2013 Produce Buying Guide

Simple guide to learn what produce is high in pesticides

The EWG released their 2013  Dirty Dozen organic produce list, which helps me decide what produce I should definitely be buying organic. There are 14 produce items that should be non-negotiable. And yes, I know a dozen is 12…but this year they added 2 more items that have large amounts of pesticide exposure, yet they still wanted to keep that catchy name.

Not only are organic produce free from chemical pesticides, but a Washington State University study found that organic strawberries have higher levels of antioxidants and Vitamin C than conventional strawberries. And why does this matter? Well, antioxidants help protect your body against cancer and fight signs of aging. Suddenly skipping the conventional strawberry sale and buying the more expensive organic ones doesn’t seem so hard, right?

This list is very helpful, but I must say there are still times when I don’t buy accordingly (I have a long way to go on my clean eating journey). I am still figuring out ways to add more organic produce into our kitchen without breaking the budget. I’ve had the best luck at Trader Joe’s, Super Target and farmer’s markets. You can also get super fresh and affordable organic produce through CSAs and organic produce co-ops.

Do you follow the Dirty Dozen list? What is your favorite way to buy organic produce?

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44 Responses to “The 2013 Produce Buying Guide”

  1. Justsome 10.29.2015 at 2:29 pm #

    Am just the devils advocate here. But for fruits and veggies to be organic they must have warms and some pest in the. So how is it that whole foods target and the likes can commercially grow food and somehow worms and pest don’t get attracted? Do your research on organic forget the labels and certificates those are bought. Clean your produce very good. And remember cancer is not new. It has been with humans for a while before it become a name.

  2. Margaret 3.16.2015 at 8:06 am #

    Is this okay for type 2 diabetic?

    • SGS Rawkstar Jessie 3.17.2015 at 4:58 am #

      Hey Margaret,

      Thank for reaching out to us. Since we are not doctors or nutritionists, we suggest that any member of community with health concerns to speak to their healthcare provider to confirm that green smoothies and the natural sugars are okay for their eating plan. Here is a link to our favorite low sugar fruits.

      Hope that helps.

  3. Tanya 9.26.2014 at 11:32 pm #

    I see that corn is not on the list of the dirty dozen. I have read that corn and soy are at least 80% of the time genetically modified now. Which means they most likely used toxic spay on them as well or why bother to use gmo corn and soy. I saw another list recently that also said corn is safe. I have a lot of contacts that say differently. I wonder who is correct?

    • SGS Rawkstar Jessie 9.27.2014 at 7:27 pm #

      Hey Tanya.

      We enjoy reading from for our dirty dozen advice.

    • faye 12.3.2014 at 4:23 pm #

      Hi Tanya,

      The label “Organic” means that the fruit/vegetable has not been sprayed with any pesticides AND that is not a GMO. Non-organic corn and soy are more often than not grown from Monsanto GMO seeds and therefore do not require a lot of pesticide spraying because they have been genetically modified to resist the pests in the first place. This means that if you want to avoid GMOs you will want to buy only organic corn and soy, however, if you are only concerned with pesticide sprays you will be fine buying non-organic.

      Hope that helps 🙂

      • Dolly 10.11.2015 at 4:25 pm #

        I do not have a website, but I take issue with your response to Monsanto GMO seeds. These fields are sprayed with Round up weed Killer that is known to kill bees. They also spray their fields with Agent Orange when the weeds get to strong for Round up. They may have handled the bugs, but they hold growers hostage with their weed killers. I would not eat any GMO foods if you can avoid it. There are many reports on these products and tests have been done on these products with rats and they have grown large tumors. Round Up has also been proven to cause cancer in Humans. Monsanto bought its way out of having to run tests to have their corn and soy and beets that they have modified to see if they were safe for human consumption. You have to know that their is something wrong with this picture.

  4. Mohsin 8.27.2014 at 12:53 pm #

    You have mentioned Kale and Collard green among the dirty dozen along with Potatoes. However, you have also mentioned Kale as a Superfood. I am confused !

    • SGS Rawkstar Jessie 8.28.2014 at 10:06 am #

      Hey Mohsin.

      The Dirty Dozen is for items that you should try to buy Organic. The EWG released their 2013 Dirty Dozen organic produce list, which helps us decide what produce we should definitely be buying organic. There are 14 produce items that should be non-negotiable. Kale is a superfood. 🙂 To benefit from kale in the best way possible, try to buy organic Kale, so we do not have pesticide in your food. Hope this answers your question.

    • Dolly 10.11.2015 at 4:28 pm #

      They are super foods, but “Don”t be confused”. Eat the organic ones. Or if possible, grow your own. They are very easy to grow.

  5. Steve 7.21.2014 at 4:24 pm #

    Bare in mind that you get organic pesticides too. Some are downright nasty. Wash all produce!

  6. trent thompson 7.15.2014 at 9:36 am #

    Green smoothies replaces my Coffee twice a day and it gives me more energy

    • SGS Rawkstar Jessie 7.16.2014 at 9:52 am #

      Wonderful! I love coffee too, but I hated the ups and down of energy.

  7. Scully 7.9.2014 at 7:34 am #

    Just about to give green smoothies a crack, and wondering if beets go in raw? And what about swiss chard – do you cook to reduce the oxalic acid? And remove the stems? Thx!

    • SGS Rawkstar Jessie 7.10.2014 at 5:05 am #

      Here are some tips on beets, Scully.

      We do not cook swiss chard. You can remove the stems if they are leaving chunks in your smoothie.

      Hope that helps. 🙂

  8. Karen 7.7.2014 at 6:19 pm #

    I make friends with every produce worker at my local grocery store. I ask tons of questions, they let me try items, etc… The honesty, friendship, and information saves me time, energy, money, and waste.

    Closest thing I could find to a local farmers market…..since there are none in my area that actually sell farm-fresh produce. They sell art and cards, etc…. Kinda frustrating.

    • SGS Rawkstar Jessie 7.8.2014 at 5:08 am #

      Awesome! Glad they are sharing their insight in their fresh produce. 🙂

  9. Billine 6.2.2014 at 9:29 am #

    I always wash my fruits and veggies in a solution of vinegar and salt. I use a plastic wash tub, 1 cup of vinegar and 2 tablespoons of salt to a tub of water. Depending on the fruit or veggie I soak from half a minute to a minute then rinse. Berries half a minute, leafy greens a minute, apples, carrots cucumbers etc a minute then lightly scrub with veggies brush. It’s amazing the dirt and sometimes little bugs that come off your produce. I can’t always buy organic but even when I do I still soak.

  10. Samantha 5.23.2014 at 1:36 pm #

    So they say ‘organic’…. but how do you know if they are ACTUALLY organic? Just curious.

    • MIKE 6.10.2014 at 12:36 pm #

      All produce is marked. If its organic, it will include the USDA Organic sticker. Also look for the stickers on fruits and veg (PLU codes). If it begins with an 8, then its a GMO product, begins with 4 means conventionally grown, Begins with 9, then its organic.

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