Issue #40: Skip Neurotoxins in Produce and Keep Your Budget in Check

Green toxic apple with biohazard sign

Green toxic apple with biohazard signThe Bad Apple

by Katie Newell, founder of Healthnut Foodie

The 2012 Dirty Dozen List has arrived! Every year, the Environmental Working Group (one of my favorite non-profit organizations) tests over 50 types of produce to determine which fruits and vegetables contain the highest concentrations of pesticides. When trying to decide the best way to spend your organic food dollar, this list should be your go-to guide!

What tops this year's list? Apples and celery, two of the most commonly consumed types of produce. The good news is that even mainstream grocers are now stocking organically grown versions of both these foods nearly year round.

In addition to the Dirty Dozen, the EWG also releases a list called the Clean 15. These are the types of produce that typically contain the least amount of pesticide residue. When grocery shopping, you can be confident that even the conventionally grown versions of these goods are going to be safe for your family.

Taming the Food Budget

To help stay within your family's food budget, try purchasing a mix of produce from both lists to balance out the price of more costly organic foods. For example, when making a fruit salad, try serving organic strawberries and blueberries mixed with conventionally grown kiwi and cantaloupe. This is an easy way to stretch your dollar without increasing your family's exposure to neurotoxic pesticides.

You can view EWG's complete 2012 report online, download a cheat sheet to take with you on shopping trips, or even install their app for your smartphone.

Making a commitment to purchase the Dirty Dozen organically is a small but simple way to make this your family's most tasty and healthy summer yet!