Conveniently Green: Conveniently Organic

We all want to buy organic, right? I really think in an ideal world, we’d all buy fresh, locally-grown organic produce from extremely friendly people who set out little bowls of their cut nectarines and peaches in order to prove to you that their nectarines and peaches are better than the nectarines and peaches at the stand 3 feet away, and don’t even bat an eyelash when you go up and down to all the booths feeding your kid little sample pieces of cut nectarines and peaches because you timed it perfectly so that you don’t have to pay for lunch.


Still Life Fruit

Or maybe that’s just MY farmer’s market.

Anyway, in an ideal world we’d all buy organic, but the world is not ideal. And my pocketbook is certainly not ideal. Everyone I know is on a budget and has to make choices when it comes to food shopping. I mean, I know there are people with limitless funds, but I’m pretty sure they send their hired help to make choices for them, and I don’t personally know any of those people anyway (or their hired help).

I like to buy organic when I can. Mouse is a veritable Fruititarian–in fact, I have to save the fruit for last because serving him fruit is like the career-ending injury of food: he won’t eat anything afterward but will insist on more fruit–so I like to give him fresh fruit when I get the chance.

Generally even at the grocery store there is some organic produce, but I often don’t know if it’s worth the cost (especially when the difference is significant) or how to weigh one choice over another. Well good news! While reading through the wealth of information at Practically Green.com, a fabulous website you’ll be hearing a lot more about on Conveniently Green, I followed a link to a suggested action item–reviewing the Dirty Dozentm list of fruits and vegetables. The  Environmental Working Group has compiled a list of produce based on research of pesticide levels–which types of fruit and veggies are more likely to expose you to fewer pesticides. The “Dirty Dozentm” is a list of the twelve foods that are the most likely to expose you to pesticides.


This is a stock photo, not an actual image of organic fruit

This way when you’re at the grocery store, you can see that celery is on the Dirty Dozentm list, while onions are up on the top of the best list. So if I’m making a choice and want to minimize my exposure to pesticides, but I can only afford a certain amount of organic produce, I am better off choosing organic celery and conventionally-grown onions rather than the other way around. What a great way to help you prioritize!

And the best part for me is that I totally HATE celery, so now I can use this as an excuse not to buy it!

Here’s the Dirty Dozentm:

  • Celery
  • Peaches
  • Strawberries
  • Apples
  • Blueberries
  • Nectarines
  • Sweet Bell Peppers
  • Spinach
  • Kale/Collard Greens
  • Cherries
  • Potatoes
  • Grapes (imported)

If one of those is on your shopping list, mosey on over to the organic produce section and see if it’s available there. If you can swing it, try to select the organic version.

You can find the full list of 49 fruits and veggies in order of pesticide exposure here.

And–AND! There’s an iPhone app! What could be more Conveniently Green than an iPhone app?

Okay, there’s nothing inherently Conveniently Green about an iPhone app, but if you happen to have an iDevice, you can download the free app with the complete list here. If you don’t have an iPhone, you can either buy one, or jot down the Dirty Dozentm on a piece of recycled paper, or just write it on your hand like you used to do in high school.

Conveniently Green organic produce–just a little bit less!

And don’t miss this video from the Organic Trade Association. What’s there not to love about Obi Wan Cannoli and Ham Solo?

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