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Health-conscious shoppers often want to purchase more natural or organic products but don’t know where to start. Well, learn which fruit and vegetables to buy and why.

Fresh fruits and veggies often have high levels of pesticide residue. Lower your family’s exposure to pesticides. Buy and eat conventional, non-organic produce with the lowest residues—also known as the Clean 15—and opt to spend more for organic produce for the 12 products that traditionally have the most pesticide.


The Clean 15 (buy non-organic)

  • Onions
  • Sweet corn
  • Pineapple
  • Avocado
  • Asparagus
  • Sweet peas
  • Mangoes
  • Eggplant
  • Cantaloupe (domestic)
  • Kiwi
  • Cabbage
  • Watermelon
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Grapefruit
  • Mushrooms

The Dirty Dozen (consider purchasing organic)

  • Apples
  • Celery
  • Strawberries
  • Peaches
  • Spinach
  • Nectarines (imported)
  • Grapes (imported)
  • Sweet bell peppers
  • Potatoes
  • Blueberries (domestic)
  • Lettuce
  • Kale/collard greens

Rinse it! make sure to thoroughly rinse your produce under running water.

Farmers Markets: While shopping this summer and fall at farmers markets and roadside produce tents, keep an eye out for organic options, often at a fraction of the supermarket cost.

Local Farms: Check out nearby farms/orchards that grow their own organic produce. Often you can pick the fruit yourself at a great discount price (plus it's a fun family activity!)

Set a budget: Establish a price limit at which you are comfortable paying for organic foods, whether it's $1.50 or $1.99/ lb. or under, or less than twice the cost of conventional. This will depend on your area's organic availability and your family budget.

If you can't afford organic right now, that's okay! When all is said and done, the health benefits of eating fresh produce outweigh possible risks.