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  • Abby Cooks Wild

Organic v. Conventional


These two words have and continue to spark debate among farmers, doctors, government officials and people like you & I, who are just wanting to make the best food choices for our families (and our budgets) without feeling like it’s a debate of right v. wrong. And, the truth is, the debate will still be going on in a year, 5 years & maybe even 10 years from now. So, what’s a consumer to do? Utter the word, “oreo” in the wrong company, and you might need to go to the ER. (I’m joking—kind of). But, when you have good information, you can make the right decision for you, your family & your grocery budget. The hard part is finding reliable resources.


I’d like to share with you a website that I only recently stumbled upon and I dare say, it has changed my life. It’s not changed me in a way that is profound, but I use it as a tool to help guide me through such first world problems as whether or not I should purchase bananas that are organic or conventionally grown. Check this out: www.ewg.org.


The Environmental Working Group is a non-profit organization founded in 1993 that has led the charge against pesticides in food. They are also the brain behind two lists I’m sure you’ve heard of….the Dirty Dozen & the Clean Fifteen (more on that in a minute). But, on their website, they have a wealth of information about our food, how it’s grown and which pesticides to avoid. There’s even an app! If you are someone who wants to become better educated about our food so you can make the right choice for you & your family, I encourage you to check out their site.


If you are unfamiliar with the Dirty Dozen & Clean Fifteen, allow me to introduce you. These lists are put together by the EWG and are updated every year. The lists I’m posting today are current as of 2018, but I will update them when the 2019 lists are released. These are the lists I use as a guideline for when I do my grocery shopping. I hope you find them helpful.

DIRTY DOZEN: This is a list of the top 12 fruits & vegetables that contain the highest levels of pesticides. If you’re wanting to eat any of the things on this list,it is recommended that you buy the organic version.

1) Strawberries

2) Spinach

3) Nectarines

4) Apples

5) Grapes

6) Peaches

7) Cherries

8) Pears

9) Tomatoes

10) Celery

11) Potatoes

12) Sweet Bell Peppers


CLEAN FIFTEEN: This lists 15 fruits & veggies with the least amount of pesticides, so it is not necessary to buy the organically grown version.

1) Avocados

2) Sweet Corn

3) Pineapple

4) Cabbage

5) Onions

6) Frozen sweet peas

7) Papaya

8) Asparagus

9) Mangoes

10) Eggplant

11) Honeydew

12) Kiwi

13) Cantaloupe

14) Cauliflower

15) Broccoli

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