Have you heard of the “Dirty Dozen” of produce? Basically it’s the list of fruits and vegetables that are the worst for pesticides and other chemicals you don’t want to eat. I knew there were bad ones, I just didn’t realize there was a top twelve. Once I read it I decided, if nothing else, I’m going to buy these items organic. Don’t know the “Dirty Dozen”? Here they are:

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

Want more details? Check out The Daily Green where I got this list from. They give a more detailed description why (such as the thin-skin which lets things seep in), as well as better options if you can’t find the organic version. (Also check out the happier side…“The Clean 15” – also from The Daily Green. These are the ones you don’t have to buy organic.)

So what can you do to wash off as many nasty chemicals as possible? Most people will wash the produce with water, but it doesn’t help to get rid of the pesticides. You could go a step further and buy super expensive fruit and vegetable wash, but why do that when you can make your own from ingredients you already have?

Fruit and Vegetable Wash (This recipe via Felicia at Go Graham Go! “DIY Vegetable and Fruit Wash!”)

1 Tablespoon of real lemon juice (I use a real lemon and squeeze it)
2 Tablespoons White Vinegar
1 Cup of Water
Spray Bottle

Mix together the lemon juice, white vinegar, and water in the spray bottle.  Give it a few swirls to make sure it is mixed well.  I use a 32 oz spray bottle and triple the recipe for about half a bottle of wash.  From one lemon you could probably get about 4-6 tablespoons of juice.

Place your produce on a paper towel or dish towel.  Spray generously over the produce.  Rinse the produce in the sink and enjoy!