Summer is in the air and with it the perfect excuse (if you need one) to add more fruits and vegetables, the real “jewels of the marketplace,” to your diet. And although eating organic is better for your body and the environment, it can be very costly. But don’t fret, I have a terrific solution for you.  Each year the Environmental Workers Group (EWG) creates a shopper’s guide to single out produce with the highest pesticide loads called the Dirty Dozen. The EWG also singles out produce with the lowest pesticide loads called the Clean Fifteen. This is a great way to reduce your exposure to pesticides in produce if you cannot find or afford an all-organic diet.  Next time you’re in the grocery store, buy organic from the Dirty Dozen and conventional from the Clean Fifteen. In addition, don’t forget tis the season for wonderful local Farmer’s Markets!!! The food not only tastes delicious, but is extremely cost effective and supports our community’s local farms.

For all you Chicagoans check out the Chicago Farmer’s Market.

The Dirty Dozen

  • Apples
  • Peaches
  • Nectarines
  • Strawberries
  • Grapes
  • Celery
  • Spinach
  • Sweet bell peppers
  • Cucumbers
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Snap peas – imported
  • Potatoes
  • Hot Peppers
  • Kale/Collard greens

The Clean 15

  • Avocados
  • Sweet Corn
  • Pineapples
  • Cabbage
  • Sweet peas frozen
  • Onions
  • Asparagus
  • Mangos
  • Papayas
  • Kiwi
  • Eggplant
  • Grapefruit
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cauliflower
  • Sweet potatoes