Why Should You Eat Organic + The Dirty Dozen & Clean 15 List

May 10, 2019 | Nutrition, Wellness

The organic market is booming and is growing twice as fast as conventional market. Did you know that organic sales are growing at 8.1% per year, and that 4 out of 10 Kiwis rate themselves as highly committed to a sustainable lifestyle?

What does organic actually mean?

The word organic means living, and in practical terms, this means natural food that is grown and processed without chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, additives, preservatives. Organic food is grown as nature intended it be. Certified Organic foods are not allowed to use growth hormones, antibiotics, preservatives, dyes, chemical coatings, genetic engineering or irradiation.

So, why should you go organic? Here are 4 reasons why…

  • Nutrition Quality. Science has proven that organically-grown produce is superior, tastier and more nutritious, and has more vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Here in New Zealand conventional farmers only add a few nutrients back into their soil, namely nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. There are many more nutrients that our bodies need and rely on for optimal health. If the nutrient is not in the soil our health can often suffer. Two nutrients in particular which a lot of New Zealanders lack in from poor quality soil is iodine and selenium. This can have a big impact on thyroid health which can affect weight management, hormones, energy levels and vitally.

  • It’s better for the environment. Organic farmers rely on crop rotation, companion planting, and animal manure in place of synthetic fertilizers, weed killers, and pesticides to control pests and maintain the quality and integrity of the soil.

  • To reduce your bodies total toxic burden. Reducing pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, additives, preservatives, antibiotics, growth hormones. Our liver is our detox organ and has over 500 vital functions, it doesn’t need an additional load of chemicals and substances added to it daily through high intake of commercially grown products, refined foods or non-organic products to detoxify. A congested liver can affect our health in many ways, increasing cholesterol, increasing inflammation, cause hormonal imbalances, skin conditions (eczema, psoriasis, acne), affect gut health, it can cause us to feel lethargic, sluggish to name just a few.

  • Organic foods are non-GMO. Genetic engineering alters crops to make them weather and pest resistant.

As you can see eating organic can benefit our health for a number of reasons. I know and understanding eating 100% organic isn’t affordable for everyone, however, with organic foods becoming higher in demand supermarkets are making it a lot more affordable for you to purchase organic products at an affordable price.

One thing I do recommend: Buy organic ingredients from the “dirty dozen” list


What is the Dirty Dozen and Clean 15?

The Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 list is a list which is published by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) each year, an organisation that educates people about chemicals found in food and household products. It’s a great idea to keep these lists in your reusable shopping bags.

Buying from this list can help you avoid as many pesticides as possible, even when you can’t buy all your foods organic. The Dirty Dozen is a list of the most pesticide-laden produce, while the Clean 15 is a list of the fruits and veggies that contain the smallest traces of pesticides.

EWG’s 2019 Dirty Dozen & Clean 15 List:

Dirty Dozen:

1. Strawberries

2. Spinach

3. Kale

4. Nectarines

5. Apples

6. Grapes

7. Peaches

8. Cherries

9. Pears

10. Tomatoes

11. Celery

12. Potatoes

13. Hot peppers


Clean 15

1. Avocado

2. Sweet corn

3. Pinapples

4. Frozen peas

5. Onions

6. Papayas

7. Eggplants

8. Asparagus

9. Kiwi fruit

10. Broccoli

11. Mushrooms

12. Honeydew melons

Hi I’m Natalie, a Registered Clinical Nutritionist, health influencer, blog writer & recipe creator. My own health complications prompted me to make positive diet & lifestyle changes, revitalize my health leading to a career change from the corporate world to nutritional medicine. I believe in a wholefoods approach to good health, focusing on simple strategies for modern, busy people. 

Let's connect @nataliebradynutrition 

The information on this website is not intended to replace the advice of your GP, a one on one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is not intended for self-diagnosis, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. I encourage you to make your own health care decisions based upon research and in partnership with a qualified healthcare professional. The entire content of this website is based on the opinions of Natalie Brady, a qualified Holistic Nutritionist, unless otherwise noted. Click here for term and conditions of services.

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