You will have doubtless heard of it being important to buy organic fruits and vegetables. However, you might have equally been taken aback by the frequently significant price differences between organic and non-organic options.
Understandably, then, you might be wondering whether choosing organic is always necessary, and whether the non-organic equivalent might sometimes serve you just fine.
For this article, we’re going to take you through the 12 dirtiest and the 15 cleanest produce items according to the Pesticide Actin Network UK (PAN) so that you can be as informed as possible when it comes to your grocery shopping.
Introducing the ‘dirty dozen’
Let’s start with the ‘dirty dozen’, the 12 products that tend to be grown with the most pesticides:
- Clementines, Mandarins and Satsumas
- Dried grapes (raisins etc)
- Pre-packed salad
- Peaches and Nectarines
If you are a fan of berries and sweet fruits, you will be thankful for knowing there are still a few other options available. You can grow them yourself, or you could buy frozen berries or even simply purchase organic.
All of the ‘dirty dozen’ are packed with health benefits, so you shouldn’t be cutting them out of your diet entirely. By purchasing these products frozen or organic, you can help guard against any residues of pesticides being present.
Remember to stock up on the ‘clean 15’
By contrast, this list shows the 15 least pesticide-contaminated products. The PAN UK doesn't create a clean 15 list so this is based off of the Environmental Working Group (EWG) list which is based off of US samples.
- Sweet peas (frozen)
- Honeydew Melon
- Cantaloupe Melon
- Sweet potatoes
If you can afford organic or have access to home grown produce, we recommend continuing to purchase organic produce.
However, these 15 items have been shown to have the lowest levels of pesticide contamination out of all fruits and vegetables, so it’s not the end of the world if you can’t buy organic for the above products. Greens like cabbage and asparagus especially can help naturally improve your immune system, so you should ensure you provide your body with an appropriate intake of these.
Organic fruits and vegetables cost more than conventional ones, and we are currently in a cost-of-living crisis where prices are through the roof. So, if you can’t afford to buy organic fruit and veg, make sure to wash your fresh produce with a homemade wash of bicarbonate soda and water to break down the pesticides that might still be on these products.
A few more things…
Even with all of these fruits and veggies available, you may still find that you aren’t getting all the nutrients your body needs to perform the three major functions of the immune system to best effect. If you’re struggling to get all the vitamins and minerals that your body requires from food alone, then you may need to further supplement your diet.
As our bodies get older, we naturally find it more difficult to break down and absorb as many nutrients as we used to be able to. This, paired with the fact that we may be taking more modern medications which deplete nutrients as we get older, might make it necessary for us to make the most of supplements such as Daily Immunity Effervescent Drinks to help ensure optimal health.