Let’s face it, these are tough economic times and most of us mommas can’t afford to buy organic produce for our families all the time!  So, what is a health-conscious mom to do?

Well don’t just STOP eating your fruits and veggies just because you will have exposure to pesticides!  “The health benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables outweigh the risks of pesticide exposure” Environmental Working Group (EWG).  The best thing you can do is buy your family the organic variety of the produce that is most treated with these harmful chemicals and go “conventional” on the produce that has the least amount of pesticide contamination. Don’t let yourself feel guilty if you don’t buy every single fruit or vegetable your little one munches on in the organic variety!  And, you know what?  One day those mommies who love to tell you, “I only give my child organic foods, no exceptions,” will have their little pesticide-free prodigy secretly eating Pop Rocks and Airheads at their friends’ house 🙂

The message here is: you don’t have to be perfect when it comes to eating organic!  The important thing is that you use your hard-earned (or saved) money where it will have the most impact on the health of your family, and that you try to buy organic foods as much as realistically possible. And don’t be an all-or-nothing mommy when it comes to going organic, remember: “eating conventionally-grown produce is far better than not eating fruits and vegetables at all” EWG.

WHAT TO BUY ORGANIC (The Dirty Dozen–Ranked in order of dirtiness):

  1. Apples
  2. Celery
  3. Strawberries
  4. Peaches
  5. Spinach
  6. Nectarines (imported)
  7. Grapes (imported)
  8. Sweet Bell Peppers
  9. Potatoes
  10. Blueberries (domestic)
  11. Lettuce
  12. Kale/Collard Greens

GO “CONVENTIONAL”–LOWEST IN PESTICIDES (Ranked in order of least amount of pesticides):

  1. Onions
  2. Corn
  3. Pineapples
  4. Avocado
  5. Asparagus
  6. Sweet Peas
  7. Mangoes
  8. Eggplant
  9. Cantaloupe
  10. Kiwi
  11. Cabbage
  12. Watermelon
  13. Sweet Potatoes
  14. Grapefruit
  15. Mushrooms

Can’t possibly remember this list, I know, I can barely remember what I need to get from the grocery let alone which kind of produce is more likely to give me cancer!  Just go to the Environmental Working Group website: and you can print out your own handy-dandy, pocket-sized  “Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides” list to meet your produce shopping needs!

“Use EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides to reduce your exposure [to pesticides] as much as possible. The Shopper’s Guide to Pesticide in Produce will help you determine which fruits and vegetables have the most pesticide residues and are the most important to buy organic. You can lower your pesticide intake substantially by avoiding the 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables and eating the least contaminated produce” EWG.

I would just like to take a moment to talk about the importance of what we as mother’s choose to spend our money on.  Buying organic anything sends a message to food manufactures and farmers that we think “organic” practices should be the BARE MINIMUM of standards when it comes to feeding our selves and our children. It is unfortunate that the health and safety of our food supply costs such a premium to the conscious citizens of the world, but our collective purchasing decisions can lead to positive change!

What about you mommas out there:  Do you think it is important to buy organic?  Do you think the whole organic craze is just a gimmick to make the consumer pay more for the same item? I’d love to start a discussion on this topic, so comment away!

xo, Kristen
Kristen Hong of Hello Nutritarian

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  • Anonymous says:

    Its just crazy taht apples are #1 most toxic! Gives new meaning to apple pie

  • SheilaSellsSeashells says:

    lists are great! this works for a mom like me who wants the most bang for her buck! i will start trying to buy more organic fruits i think u might have convinced me!