Confusion often surrounds organic food, particularly fruit and vegetables.

  • Is it actually better for you?
  • Is it worth paying the price?

If you have to be selective with your organic purchase due to budget constraints, because yes sadly organics are, in most cases, more expensive than their non-organic commercial counterparts, what is the best to buy?

Fortunately for you and for me, the American Environmental Working Group carries out an annual study on fruit and vegetables.

When researching for this article, I hoped to provide you with a list by country i.e. Australia, United States, UK etc., alas that could not be found!

The AEWG list is still relevant to all however, as the pesticide and chemical absorption is based on the porosity of the skin and the structure of the plant. Which is 99% of cases is the same whether the apples are grown in Mildura or Minnesota!

The key findings frighteningly were …

  • More than 98 percent of strawberry samples, peaches, nectarines, and apples tested positive for at least one pesticide residue.
  • The average potato had more pesticides by weight than any other produce
  • A single grape sample and a capsicum sample contained 15 pesticides.1.

So who are the Dirty Dozen in 2016?

  • Strawberries
  • Apples
  • Nectarines
  • Celery
  • Grapes
  • Cherries
  • Spinach
  • Capsicum
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Cucumber

And introducing The Clean 15… 

  • Asparagus
  • Avocado
  • Cabbage
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cauliflower
  • Eggplant
  • Grapefruit
  • Kiwi
  • Mangoes
  • Onions
  • Pineapple
  • Papaya
  • Honey dew melon
  • Sweet corn
  • Sweet Peas

So what can you do now?

  1. Use this list as a guide to help you when shopping.
  1. If you are going to spend your money on organic fruit and vegetables, then spend it on those from the dirty dozen.
  1. Look at purchasing your fruit and vegetables from your local Farmers Market. They’ve great produce and you’re supporting them (and the environment) by shopping local. Often if you go at then end of the day you will pick up fabulous bargains!
  1. Grow your own, and then you have complete control over the environment of your produce.

Spring is upon us and it’s a great time to shed some winter weight and go fresh, clean and light.

Spring is the time nature produces many fruits and vegetables that are perfect for a natural detox. This includes berries, sprouts, greens, and bitter roots that also help improve your immunity and fight off toxins and diseases.

Your body starts to crave different foods to prepare for and get in sync with the new season. We need to listen to what our bodies need and what is offered in nature to reach optimal health and wellness.

And if you’d like some help, click here to learn about my Eat Clean Reset Your Body 14 Day Program. You give me 14 days and I’ll give you a full Reset guide, shopping lists, daily meals plans, 50+ recipes, daily email support, private forum and so much more…all done for you!

Environmental Working Group (2015) EWG’s 2016 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce.


Caroline Silk

Your Mindset Nutritionist

@ The Balanced Approach

(+61) 0414 537 522  | [email protected] |

Also connect with me on:

Facebook – LinkedIn – Instagram

Download your Mindful Eating Guide Book – It’s free!

Latest posts by Caroline Silk (see all)