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Don't pay extra for organic versions of these fruits and vegetables

Spring is in full swing and that means berry season! But if you’re a big fan of strawberries, there’s a new warning from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) you need to hear.

In fact, the warning might make you want to open your wallet to spring from some organic strawberries — instead of conventionally grown ones.

But don't worry, the EWG report also has information that could potentially save you money by letting you know which kinds of produce you don't need to pay extra for organic versions of!

RELATED: Here’s the best way to wash the pesticides off produce

EWG: Eat this organic, not that

The EWG is out with its 2019 Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce, a reliable scientific measure of the amount of pesticide residue left behind on conventionally grown produce.

The EWG’s Dirty Dozen

Strawberries top the list as the “dirtiest” produce (i.e. with the most pesticide residue) this year. They’re followed closely by spinach and kale.

“We were surprised kale had so many pesticides on it, but the test results were unequivocal,” said EWG Toxicologist Alexis Temkin, Ph.D. “Fruits and vegetables are an important part of everyone’s diet, and when it comes to some conventionally grown produce items, such as kale, choosing organic may be a better option.”

Here's the so-called "Dirty Dozen" list of the 12 fruits and vegetables with the most pesticide residue left behind when grown non-organic.

  1. Strawberries
  2. Spinach
  3. Kale
  4. Nectarines
  5. Apples
  6. Grapes
  7. Peaches
  8. Cherries
  9. Pears
  10. Tomatoes
  11. Celery
  12. Potatoes

If taking fewer chemicals into your body is a concern for you, you may want to consider buying these things organic!

Meanwhile, if you're dismayed by apples showing up at #5 on this list, we've got a little trick you'll want to know.

Our article explains how to use a common household item to wash your apples thoroughly enough that you may actually be able to skip organic — and the high-cost premium that goes along with it!

The EWG’s Clean 15

So we all know organic produce is way pricier than traditional non-organic produce. But the EWG’s research isn’t all about you paying more money. It can also save you money with recommendations on the “Clean 15” list.

This list is the mirror opposite of the Dirty Dozen. It contains 15 fruits and veggies with the least amount of pesticide residue when bought non-organic.

  1. Avocados
  2. Sweet Corn
  3. Pineapples
  4. Sweet Peas (frozen)
  5. Onions
  6. Papayas
  7. Eggplants
  8. Asparagus
  9. Kiwis
  10. Cabbages
  11. Cauliflower
  12. Cantaloupes
  13. Broccoli
  14. Mushrooms
  15. Honeydew Melons

Final thought

A lot of us try to balance staying on a budget and eating healthy. Too often, those goals work at cross-purposes. But it doesn’t have to be the case.

Armed with info from the EWG, you can incorporate more produce from the Clean 15 list into your life while eating fewer of those things on the Dirty Dozen list. It’s a great way to save money and eat healthy!

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