The Dirty Dozen Shopping Guide

Posted On Sep 25, 2014 By Jennifer Galardi

The 12 fruits and veggies to buy organic

I'm all aboard the organic train and try to eat only the freshest, highest quality, cleanest foods. However, like many of you, I don't like to feel like my entire paycheck is going to fruits, vegetables and a trip to Whole Foods. Inevitably, a great portion of my resources — time and money — goes toward eating well and educating others on the importance of good nutrition and clean eating.

On the flip side, I don't want to be one of those annoying food people. You know the ones. You've been to dinner parties with them. Or overheard the conversations at the beach, in your local yoga studio or, perhaps, even in the office. Organic and all-natural conversations are as ubiquitous as the coffee shops in which they are held. Someone is always lamenting with a huge sigh, "Ohhhhh — I'd love to have some salad. But is that lettuce organic?" Everything becomes a huge discussion about where the cow has been, how the butter is churned or the injustice the fruit has suffered. I feel the same way about these conversations as I do about a baby's rash — there's a time and a place for it. But no one wants to hear about it at the dinner table.

I can say this because I've been one of "those people" — hindered from enjoying a moment, a festive atmosphere, a good time, by food obsessions. Every once in a while, I still find myself slipping into the mind games food plays on so many of us. There is, however, an upside of obsession — I've educated myself so well that I've learned a thing or two along the way.

Along my crazy health journey, I've definitely learned how to navigate the produce aisles and pick and choose products that are best for me without breaking the bank. Some items I will only buy organic. Cucumbers top my list, mostly because every time I eat a conventional cucumber, I taste chemical. I've actually returned a few to the store, thinking they were "bad." Nope. Just contaminated. It's like the old adage — "What you don't know, won't hurt you." Well, I know when I can TASTE the toxins.

Tomatoes are another good reason to go organic. Thin skins absorb pesticides and contaminants affecting the taste of the fruit. However, they are also best to get in season from a local farmer's market if possible.


There are many others you can keep on top of your list to ensure you choose the best option when you can. But don't ruin the moment, people. If you're out to dinner, let's not make a big stink whether or not the cucumbers in your salad are organic. Make the best choices you can given the alternatives provided.

To help you make smart choices on where to put your money, Nautilus and I have developed a printable DIRTY DOZEN list that you can laminate and place in your purse or wallet so you're never without a grocery guide again!

Click on the image to download your list !