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Where possible it is always good to try to buy locally grown produce as it will be fresher and have a higher nutrient content. Local produce from farmers markets is typically cheaper than supermarket produce and avoids excessive food miles whilst supporting your local farmers.

Whilst it’s preferable to buy organic produce as it contains higher levels of antioxidants and will contribute far less to your toxic load, we appreciate it’s not always possible and can be expensive. So, if you want to eat organic food, but can’t afford to buy everything organic prioritising the ‘Dirty Dozen’ is a good place to start.

The Dirty Dozen: Always buy these organic

If you can afford to buy some organic fruit and vegetables, this is probably the best place to start. This list contains the fruit and veg that contains the worst levels of pesticide. The highest are listed first:

  • Apples
  • Celery
  • Strawberries
  • Peaches
  • Spinach
  • Sweet peppers
  • Grapes
  • Nectarines
  • Potatoes
  • Blueberries
  • Lettuce
  • Kale / collard greens

The Dirty Dozen Infographic

The Clean 15: On a budget? These don’t need to be organic

If you can’t afford to buy too much in the way of organic fruit and vegetables, don’t worry about these. Listed from the lowest pesticide content:

  • Onions
  • Sweetcorn
  • Pineapple
  • Avocado
  • Asparagus
  • Aubergine
  • Mangoes
  • Peas
  • Cantaloupe
  • Kiwi
  • Cabbage
  • Watermelon
  • Mushrooms
  • Grapefruit
  • Sweet potato

The clean 15 infographic

Grass-fed meats, eggs, and dairy

Grass-fed animals are free of hormones, antibiotics, pesticides like organic foods. Additionally, they get plenty of sunlight, access to fields and they are not fed corn and soy. This makes them rich in fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) and fatty acids, such as omega-3 fatty acids and CLA. They also have less cholesterol and inflammatory fats.

See Foundations of a healthy diet: part one, Foundations of a healthy diet: part two for more information about the nutrients you need in pregnancy.

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