The Dirty Dozen: getting started with organics

The Dirty Dozen is a list that comes out each year that ranks the fruits and vegetables that measure highest in pesticide residues. Based on data from the US Department of Agriculture, the rankings consider the pesticide contamination of 47 different fruits and vegetables and has been published each year since 2004.

To give you some idea of what we’re talking about, for many years apples were at the top of the list – earning the top slot by measuring residue from over 50 different pesticides. You might be surprised to know that the last couple of years strawberries have been ‘winning’ the Dirty Dozen – followed by ‘healthy’ greens spinach and kale.

As an avid supporter, buyer, grower and consumer of organic produce, I’m often asked how to start making the transition over to an organic lifestyle? Well the good news is that with a wide range of organic food available at competitive prices it gets easier and easier year after year.

Typically I would suggest making a gradual transition so that it sticks, by slowly switching over any animal products (starting with red meat), and also working your way down the dirty dozen list.