Organic Produce: when to make the investment, and when to skip it


Organic farming isn’t a new concept, as it has in fact been around for centuries. However, recently it has been receiving increased attention, leading some to believe it’s the latest ‘craze.’ 

Conventional farming exposes the produce to chemicals and pesticides. What we are told is that these chemicals are used to preserve the produce longer, and ward off unwanted bugs.

But… what they don’t tell you, is that this strips the soil of its nutrients, and can have detrimental effects within your body.

Over time (days, weeks, years) of eating conventional produce, these chemicals/toxins accumulate in your body, leading to severe health consequences such as cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and more.

When you instead reach for organic produce, you are minimizing your toxin load, and ultimately eating food that is healthier, better tasting AND safer.

Lets be honest- although better for you, organic produce can be a LOT more expensive. I hear you babe- And in today’s economical world, it can be difficult to find the budget to afford it. 

So how do you find a safe & effective compromise between your nutrition health and your financial health? 

Well good news! I am here to share the 12 times you should invest in organic produce, and the 15 times you can skip it. 

Yep, you heard me!

Research shows that there are 12 fruits/vegetables that have by far the highest levels of chemicals and pesticides – otherwise known as the dirty dozen.

A couple of these items have tested positive for over TEN different chemicals, with 98% of each item testing positive for pesticide residue. YIKES! When shopping, these are the items you should definitely choose organic. 

This dirty dozen list includes:

  • Apples
  • Celery
  • Tomatoes
  • Pears
  • Grapes
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Potatoes
  • Cherries
  • Spinach/Kale/Collard Greens
  • Strawberries
  • Sweet Bell Peppers.


Similarly, research also shows that the following 15 fruits/vegetables (otherwise known as the clean 15) have the smallest chemical reading- with over 80% of most having no pesticide residue at all!

In addition, none of the items listed here tested positive for more than 4 different pesticides. Avocados and sweet corn take the top of the list- with less than 1% of each testing positive for any pesticide residue!

This clean 15 list includes:

  • Avocados
  • Sweet Corn
  • Pineapples
  • Cabbage
  • Onions
  • Frozen Sweet Peas
  • Papayas
  • Asparagus
  • Mangos
  • Eggplant
  • Honeydew
  • Kiwi
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli


As you’ll likely note from the lists above, a lot of the items on the dirty dozen list are more ‘porous’- which makes sense for the higher chemical load, as they are easier for bugs to penetrate. Whereas the items on the clean fifteen list have thicker skins, resulting in less chemicals being required as they are already protected from pests.

Therefore, I hope this helps to put your mind at ease regarding the concept of organic produce. 

And remember babes… even when buying organic, ALWAYS make sure to wash your fruit and veggies well before consuming!



Brianne xo

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Hi, I’m Brianne

Here at The Holistic RN you’ll find a place where holistic healing and western medicine come together to create a brand new way of looking at your health- including real food recipes, easy to understand information and overflowing inspiration. Let’s get started!

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