Organic or Not Organic? The question.


There’s always a lot of hype around organic food so let’s talk about that for a second. The term “organic” (generally speaking) means that the food was grown only using natural fertilizers (manure and/or compost), no added pesticides or additives.  True organic foods will be labeled “Certified Organically Grown.” This means that the area it was grown in has been tested by either an independent organization or a state agency.

“All natural” or “no artificial ingredients” or “organic” are all terms that food companies can put on their food labels without having any truth behind it. So if you’re going to purchase organic food, make sure that it’s “Certified Organically Grown” or you’re probably wasting your money.   organic-veggie-1538668-640x480

The basic belief behind organic food is that healthier soil will produce healthier plants and healthier food.  This doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s more nutritious, just that it was grown in soil that wasn’t contaminated.

So is it absolutely necessary to purchase organic fruits and vegetables all of the time? No. There is actually a list of fruits and veggies that Dr. Sears refers to as “The Clean 15.” The Clean 15 are foods that show very little traces of pesticides when tested. These include:

  • Avocadoavocados-1511987-640x480
  • Asparagus
  • Cabbage
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cauliflower
  • Corn
  • Eggplant
  • Honeydew
  • Grapefruit
  • Sweet Peas
  • Mango
  • Kiwis
  • Papayas
  • Onions

On the other hand, foods with thinner skin are more likely to carry pesticide residue. The top 12 foods, referred to by Dr. Sears as “The Dirty Dozen” are the fruits and vegetables that you should try to buy organically when possible:

  • Bell Peppersfood-wood-tomatoes-medium
  • Cherries
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes
  • Apples
  • Strawberries
  • Grapes
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Celery


You should be washing all fruits and vegetables prior to consumption. Washing them will help reduce the amount of pesticides that you actually consume. You can also make your own in-home cleaning solution of equal parts vinegar and water to assist in the pesticide removal – if you do this though, make sure you rinse it afterwards!

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