What Should You Buy Organic

Updated: Jun 10, 2018

* Picture of heirloom tomatoes grown on AZ Farm

Buying organic can be expensive and confusing. In an ideal world I would buy all my food organic, but most times its not practical or available. I try my best to grow and preserve foods grown on the farm and source things I don't grow from other chemical free local farmers. But when I need to buy fresh foods at the store I'm sure to buy organic produce based on the Environmental Working Group's (EWG) Dirty Dozen list. I know I won't even touch certain produce such as tomatoes unless they are grown out of mine or another local farm.

For the 2017 Dirty Dozen list, EWG singled out produce with the highest amount of pesticide residues. The foods on the list have been tested positive for a number of different pesticide residues and contained higher concentrations of pesticides than other produce. This year the list includes:

1.) Strawberries

2.) Spinach

3.) Nectarines

4.) Apples

5.) Peaches

6.) Celery

7.) Grapes

8.) Pears

9.) Cherries

10.) Tomatoes

11.) Sweet bell peppers

12.) Potatoes

Many of these on the list I freeze during the harvest season to eat throughout the year and others I only eat when in season. However when I'm craving some fresh spinach in my salad or black bean sweet potato burrito during the winter months, I hop on over to Aldis (my favorite grocery store) and grab a container of their USDA organic spinach.

I hope this helps in decisions for your food shopping experience. Is this shopping list new to you or do you already use this list as part of your shopping guideline?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:Ariel Zimmerlein is a Holistic Health Coach and Farmer. She uses her B.S. in Human Nutrition and Dietetics and her lifetime learning and experience with chronic illness and childhood trauma to empower others to live life fully regardless of the circumstances they have been given. She runs her farm, AZ Farm and Wellness, and loves to grow food for its inner and outer healing benefits. She focuses her practice on nutrition, stress, with special interest in mental/emotional health. She serves those with chronic health conditions who are challenged by pain, isolation, depression, and anxiety. Visit her at www.azfarmwellness.com to learn more.


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