It’s Not All or Nothing

I WANT to eat that strawberry.
BUT it’s not organic.
But it IS a fruit. And fruit IS good for me!
BUT it’s covered in pesticides. EWW!
But fresh in-season strawberries ARE SO DELICIOUS!
UGH! I can’t afford to buy all organic produce and that makes me frustrated.
<insert vision of strawberry pie>
Is it better to eat contaminated nutritious food, or none at all?!?!

Does this inner dialogue sound familiar?

It sure did to me until I did some research and came to some resolution about it. Let me share with you what I believe the answer is and help you be at ease with this dilemma. Because it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. I’ll show you the middle place.

You can become discouraged when you look at the price and availability of organic produce. It’s expensive! It’s difficult to find organic options for everything that you WANT. And living in an agricultural state where in-season, local strawberries, peaches, squash, tomatoes, corn, greens, etc. are available and DELICIOUS… but NOT organic, requires you to make a value judgement.

Thankfully, you CAN have it all.

Did you know that you can reduce your exposure to pesticides from produce by 80% JUST by following the “Dirty Dozen?”

The Dirty Dozen is a list of the 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables. It’s published yearly by a group called the Environmental Working Group (EWG). (Link at the bottom) You can use this list as a guideline when buying produce. It’s simple… focus on buying organic from the list and if it’s not on the list, just…

Buy it!
Wash it!
Ask the Lord to bless it!

You do this because your body needs the nutrients from fruits and vegetables. And, well… I’ve decided (maybe you can decide too) that I’m not going to be religious about my food. And for goodness sake, it’s not like I NEVER go to that STARRY BUCK coffee shop and order a fancy drink for $7 that has some kinda crap in it.

But what about the LOCAL strawberries, peaches and tomatoes – they are NOT organic AND they are ON THAT LIST – strawberries ARE NUMBER ONE!

Well, you’ll have to decide for yourself. But for me and my family, we ENJOY the local bounty.

Here’s a guide to washing your produce. All the guides say to use vinegar. You can do that.

But here’s what I do. I do not rinse my non-organic produce. I immerse it in a big bowl with lots of water. I put in about 5-6 drops of “top of the morning blue stuff” dish washing liquid. I let it sit for 10 minutes or so. And then I drain, rinse, rinse, rinse.

That’s just what I do.

Please don’t stop eating fruits and vegetables just because you can’t find or afford organic ones. Follow the Dirty Dozen as best you can, wash your produce… and ENJOY!

EWG’s 2017 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™




  1. Eric Bordner on July 19, 2017 at 9:26 am

    As a nationally certified Personal Trainer, I very much agree with this philosophy. The health benefits from fruits and vegetables , especially when it comes to repairing your body after running, biking, swimming, lifting, and/or working hard in construction all day, will more than off-set the risk you inherit from eating a cleaned and rinsed non-organic vegetable or fruit. Remember, that though the macro-nutrients are important , Carbs, Proteins, and Fats ….. what may actually be more important to living a high-performance lifestyle, is the quality of those macro-nutrients and the amount of micro-nutrients ( vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients ) found ….. i,e… whole-wheat pasta is not as micronutrient rich as do-it-yourself butternut squash pasta 🙂

  2. Laurie Gray on January 20, 2019 at 1:36 pm

    Thank you for your blog post about buying and eating non-organic fruit. That is so helpful to know. Does the kind of dish-washing liquid matter? Are there not any places in the Florence area to get organic strawberries and blueberries? We just moved here from Pennsylvania where they were easier to find.

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