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I’m Jen Hansard, mom of two, ultra runner and lover of green smoothies, coffee & tacos. I took my family's health into my own hands while broke and without health insurance...and have helped 1 million+ other families along the way.

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14 Fruits and veggies you should only buy organic

Organic fruits and vegetables can be pricey compared to their conventionally-grown counterpart. It’s hard for me to pick up a $4 pint of organic strawberries when I see the $.99 sale ones that look even better. Is it really worth spending the extra money on organic? Yes…and no.

Dirty Dozen organic produce list

The EWG’s 2012 Dirty Dozen organic produce list helps me decide what is worth it. There are 14 items that are non-negotiable (and strawberries are on the list). 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.

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 and farmer’s markets. I know from friends that you can also get affordable organic produce through CSAs and organic produce co-ops.

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.


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

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  1. Perla

    January 10th, 2013 at 8:59 am

    what if we buy the fruit and vegetable wash? (from trader joe’s)

  2. Jen H

    January 10th, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    I love the fruit and veggie wash from TJ’s. That helps clean the outside of the fruit. But pesticides are absorbed into the leaves and skin of the fruits and veggies as well. By washing them, you are reducing the amount of pesticides you are ingesting, but not getting rid of them. So keep on washing them, but I still recommend sticking to the list as much as possible.

  3. Rose

    July 13th, 2013 at 2:11 am

    Wonderful post, very informative. I wonder why the opposite specialists of this sector do not notice this. You must continue your writing. I am sure, you’ve a great readers’ base already!|What’s Happening i am new to this, I stumbled upon this I have discovered It positively useful and it has helped me out loads. I hope to give a contribution & help different customers like its aided me. Good job.

  4. Laura

    September 28th, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    what about frozen fruit?

  5. Jen Hansard

    October 1st, 2013 at 7:14 am

    Hey Laura. I stick with the same guide for frozen fruits— since they were grown the same way. Yet there are times when I just buy a mixed bag of frozen fruit that isn’t organic and just call it good. 🙂 Hope that helps.

  6. sally

    October 1st, 2013 at 12:15 am

    I get most of my fruits and green organics from Whole Foods and at the local Farmer’s Market as well as Trader Joe’s. The local Whole Foods employees are so knowledgeable about where their foods come from and how it’s grown so I know exactly what i’m purchasing and where it’s from.

  7. Carrie

    March 31st, 2014 at 7:06 am

    I purchase most of our organic fruits and veggies at our local co-op. I do go to whole Foods but find they are the most expensive. Trader joes is ok but I find that there produce just doesn’t last like our co-ops does. And of course in the summer I grow my own or buy from a farmers market.

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