Organic vs Non-Organic – the Dirty Dozen

So, what are the Clean 15 and the Dirty Dozen, organic vs non-organic and why should you care?Clean 15 Dirty Dozen Free Spirited Sisters

Organic vs non-organic

Non-organic fruit and vegetables are treated with synthetic chemical pesticides to eradicate pests. Organic produce farmers use other natural methods of pest control (control vs eradication). The organic farmer may lose a small portion of their crop to pests, which accounts for the slightly higher cost of organic foods. The result is healthier produce.

Why you should care

Pesticides by their very nature are toxic to living organisms and have been linked to issues such as toxicity in the brain and nervous system, cancer, hormone disruption and irritation of the eyes, skin, and lungs (For more information, visit the EWG’s FAQ here). It is even possible for the pesticide residues to remain after washing, and sometimes even after peeling, so it is important to try to buy organic when possible.


That being said, budgets are budgets and it’s not always possible to spend that little bit extra for all organic purchases. The infographic shows fruits and vegetables (according to the EWG) that have the highest traces of pesticides, and therefore, the organic option for those should be purchased where possible. The clean 15 are those fruits and vegetables with the lowest traces of pesticides and are safer to purchase non-organic. (For the 2017 list of pesticide levels in 48 of the most popular fruit and vegetables, click here.).

Knowledge bank

There are many areas in which we can make small changes to create a healthier lifestyle and this one isn’t intended to scare you. (Check out our Clean Eating post for more options). Adding to your knowledge bank never hurts and if you’re anything like me, you want all the information you can get so you can make informed choices.

Happy grocery shopping! Click the image to open and print to take with you.