THE DIRTY (AND NOT SO DIRTY) DOZEN

A quick tip for all the recessionistas out there. There are so many reasons to buy locally grown, organic produce, but the truth is it can get a little pricey. So what’s a mother to do?

Prioritize.

The EPA has put together a handy list of the 12 conventionally grown fruits and vegetables that have the highest and lowest levels of residual pesticides. If you can’t afford to go strictly organic, at least play it smart. Among conventionally raised fruits and veggies, the most pesticide-ridden are peaches, apples, sweet bell peppers, celery, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, pears, imported grapes, spinach, lettuce and potatoes. You can lower your family’s pesticide exposure over 90 percent by spending the extra bucks on the organic versions of these.

On the flip side, conventionally grown onions, avocados, frozen sweet corn, pineapples, mangoes, asparagus, frozen peas, kiwi, bananas, cabbage, broccoli and papayas have been shown to have the least amount of residual pesticides. If you’re going to skimp, do it here.

Suze Orman would be proud.

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