Spread the Health

The Dirty Dozen: Which Foods to Eat Organic

By Jess K., Office of Residence Life

‘Organic’ may bring several thoughts to mind: food that is better for the environment, food that if better for you, food that supports local business, and food that is expensive. If you can’t afford to buy all of your groceries organic (and let’s face it – who can?!), consider using the Environmental Working Group’s annual list of the “Dirty Dozen.” This list identifies the twelve foods, which if bought organically, can reduce your exposure to pesticides by 80%. Fabulous.

organic radishes copy

Apples
“An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Apples provide the body with lots of soluble fiber, minimal calories, and high vitamin C. Grab an organic apple for a sweet, satisfying snack!1

Celery
Non-organic celery has been shown to have over 60 different pesticides!  If you can’t find organic celery, try broccoli or radishes.2

Strawberries
One cup of strawberries contains over 13% of daily recommended dietary fiber, yet only contains 43 calories! The dietary fiber in strawberries helps to keep digestion regular, blood pressure low, and curbs overeating.3 If you can’t find organic strawberries, try a kiwi or some pineapple.

Peaches
Peaches are extremely low in calories, have no saturated fats, and are easy to eat on the go!  Buy them organic and you can have all the health benefits without the nasty additions.4

Spinach
Is your skin seeming a little drab from the winter? The high amount of vitamin A in spinach promotes healthy skin by allowing for proper moisture retention in the epidermis, thus fighting psoriasis, acne and even wrinkles!5

Nectarines (Imported)
Similar to peaches, nectarines are low in calories and also are full of antioxidants which can help protect the skin from damaging UV rays.6

Grapes (Imported)
Grapes are rich sources of vitamins A, C, B6 and folate in addition to essential minerals like potassiumcalciumironphosphorus,magnesium and selenium.  Try them frozen for a great spring snack! And if you’re a raisin fan, buy those organic as well to avoid pesticide residue.7

Sweet Bell Red Peppers
Fresh bell peppers are high in vitamin C and are an easily portable, low calorie snack that make them a great food to eat organic.8

Potatoes
A staple food in most American’s diets, potatoes contain more than 35 pesticides.  Try sweet potatoes for an easy, cost effective alternative.9

Blueberries
Organically grown blueberries have significantly higher levels of antioxidants, which boost up your immune system and help prevent infections.10

Lettuce
Joining spinach in the leafy greens category, lettuce makes the list of dirty dozen foods with the most pesticidesMore than 50 pesticides have been identified on lettuce. If you can’t find organic lettuce, try buying asparagus.11

Kale
Per calorie, kale has more iron then beef!  Iron is essential for good health because it forms hemoglobin and enzymes, transports oxygen to various parts of the body, and promotes cell growth and proper liver function.12

Collard Greens
Like other vegetables, collard greens have few calories but pack major fiber and nutrients. Just lose the traditional way of cooking them in bacon grease to keep from putting on any pounds!13

You may not be able to find the organic version of each of these foods in your local grocery store, so try going to the local farmer’s market or eating foods that are on the, ‘Clean 15′ list.  This list contains the items with the least pesticides, so it’s fair and healthy to buy the non-organic version!

SPREAD THE HEALTH: To avoid ingesting pesticides or emptying your wallet, buy only the organic fruits and veggies on the ‘Dirty Dozen’ list which have the highest amount of pesticides.

Giveaway banner_cropped copyWant some organic veggies on us?
Enter our giveaway and you could win a gift card to Trader Joe’s!

There are THREE ways to enter the giveaway: (1) Share this blog post on Facebook or Twitter and tag/mention us (2) Leave a comment below telling us your favorite fruit or vegetable (3) Tweet at us or comment on our Facebook page answering the same question.

The more you do, the more times your name will be entered. We will pick one winner on March 22, 2013 using Random.org. This giveaway is open to Boston University students only. Good luck!

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