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Go Organic with a Plan for Organic September

Organic September is in full swing! This month is the perfect time to explore going organic with your food choices. Organic veg, fruit, dairy, meat, and other foods can boost your health and support the environment.

But making everything organic may not fit your budget. How can you get the most from organic foods? Make a plan!



fruit and veg market

Start by getting to know the Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen lists from the Environmental Working Group. These highlight produce with the lowest and highest pesticide residues when conventionally grown. Just be aware that this list is from the USA and not the UK, but it's still a great place to start.

Use the Dirty Dozen as your organic priority list. The 2023 list is:

  1. Strawberries

  2. Spinach

  3. Kale

  4. Peaches

  5. Pears

  6. Nectarines

  7. Apples

  8. Grapes

  9. Bell and hot peppers

  10. Cherries

  11. Blueberries

  12. Green beans

Going organic for the Dirty Dozen eliminates the most pesticide exposure from your diet.


Next, stick to conventional for the Clean 15. You can more safely save money by purchasing these non-organic from the 2023 list:


  1. Avocados

  2. Sweet corn

  3. Pineapple

  4. Onions

  5. Papaya

  6. Peas

  7. Asparagus

  8. Honeydew melon

  9. Kiwi

  10. Cabbage

  11. Mushrooms

  12. Mangoes

  13. Sweet Potatoes

  14. Watermelon

  15. Carrots

Looking beyond produce, choose organic for the foods you and your family eat most often. Organic dairy like milk, yogurt, and cheese are great options. Splurge on organic meats occasionally and keep the cost down by swapping some non-organic meat meals for bean-based ones. Even organic beans are a much cheaper option than meat.


You might also want to check out organic grains, pasta, cereal and bread. It has been known for people to think they have a gluten intolerance, but are fine when they switch to organic bread.



Think ahead - if you have a garden, plan and plant ahead for next spring. Start today by growing herbs on your windowsill. The feeling of satisfaction when you don't have to wash off pesticides is great! Ethical Organic Seeds is a good place to start. Find them at https://www.ethicalorganicseeds.co.uk/herb-seeds

Start small if you’re on a tight budget. Maybe choose just dairy and the Dirty Dozen to start. Or pick the top 3 foods you eat the most. Any organic change makes an impact! Let the Clean 15/Dirty Dozen lists guide you and simplify shopping. Follow your budget, and don’t stress about perfection. With a plan in place, you can enjoy all the organic goodness of Organic September!


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