Finally – produce is a lot less complicated than animal products. Let’s all breathe a sigh of relief together. 🙂



The organic label on produce means it is free of certain pesticides, fertilizers, and genetically modified organisms (GMOs). We learned the plethora of reasons to avoid these on our organic food page. And if those reasons aren’t enough, research suggests organic produce may have more nutrients as well.

Should we ONLY buy Organic?

Despite the fact that organic is better, it’s more expensive and sometimes we can only find non-organic fruits and veggies. So should we only buy organic produce? We don’t. Here’s our take. When forced to choose between non-organic produce and no produce, we choose non-organic produce. We believe the nutrients from these fruits and veggies outweigh the potential harm from the chemicals. That said there are certain fruits and vegetables we often pass up or substitute for other produce if we can’t find organic. We are referring to the 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables. Click here for the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) list of the 12 most contaminated (“Dirty Dozen”) and the 15 least contaminated (“Clean 15”) fruits and veggies. Click here to download it, print it, or add the app to your phone. This is such a helpful tool when shopping for produce. 🙂


Good: Organic for only “Dirty Dozen”

Better: Organic for all except “Clean 15”

Best*: Organic for all

*Keep in mind organic certification is expensive. As a result, some farmers who adhere to organic standards choose not to pay for certification and therefore cannot label their products “organic”. So when you are at a farmers’ market or are buying directly from a farm, ask how the food was produced. It might even be better than USDA standards!

Interesting related articles…

EWG FAQs page

Ask EWG: How should I wash my fruits and veggies?

When should you buy organic?

Benefits of Eating What’s in Season