Handy Reference for When to Spend and Save on Organic

It amazes me how by making a few simple shifts to clean up your life, you can see dramatic changes in your health and well-being. I thought I’d share one of the easiest and most powerful with you today.

Have you ever heard of the Dirty Dozen? It’s the 12 kinds of produce that you absolutely MUST buy organic because they are most heavily sprayed with pesticides.

Pesticides contribute to toxicity in the body, which means that we are more likely to suffer from allergies, a weakened immune system, and digestive problems, among other things.

Many fruits and vegetables that have thin skins or have skins that you eat are toxic when bought conventional. As a general rule of thumb, you want to make sure that anything you buy that has a thin skin is organic, as this will limit the amount of environmental toxins entering your body that wreak havoc on your health.

While it is always best to buy organic whenever possible, this doesn’t work for every budget. The Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen were created for this exact reason: to help you know the top 12 foods that are most important for you to buy organic and the top 15 that can be bought conventional.

I suggest you save these images to your phone so that you always have a quick reference when you’re doing your grocery shopping!































The truth is, with all the chemicals and pollutants that we are exposed to through the food we eat, the water we drink, the products we use and the air we breathe, the question is no longer IF we are toxic. The real question is HOW toxic we are.

When I first heard these statistics, I was blown away. Disgusted. Hearbroken for our babies.

A benchmark investigation of industrial chemicals, pollutants and pesticides in umbilical cord blood by the Environmental Working Group (an American watch dog group) back in 2005 showed:

  • 287 chemicals were detected in umbilical cord blood of newborns. They include pesticides, consumer product ingredients, waste materials from burning coal, gasoline, or garbage.
  • 180 of the 287 chemicals found are known to cause cancer in human or animals.
  • 217 are toxic to the brain and nervous system.
  • 208 of those are shown to cause birth defects or abnormal development in animal tests.

Our babies are being born with serious toxic substances in their bodies, even before being exposed directly to the toxins! So if this is our status at birth, it terrifies me to think of our toxic load in our 30’s, 40’s, 50’s and beyond. Yowzers.

This is why I take (and suggest) a proactive approach to detoxification.

Because even though our bodies are equipped with the ability to detox naturally, this can only happen if our detox pathways are functioning properly. But with our excessive toxic exposure from not only chemicals but our nutrient-poor diets and over-stressed nervous systems, the bottom line is that our systems are clogged and creating a cascade of destruction via nagging symptoms and chronic illness.

We all want to feel great each day, with strong digestion, balanced energy, and a sharp mind, right?

I have discovered that detoxing seasonally allows for this. When you remove the obstacles and provide what is lacking, our bodies bounce back into health, energy is restored, and we begin to look and feel our best.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, your body is sending you signals that it’s in need of some attention:

  • Fatigue or low energy
  • Poor sleep
  • Indigestion
  • Bloating and gas
  • Cravings or overeating
  • Constipation
  • Skin issues
  • Excess weight
  • Poor focus and mental clarity

A gentle, science-based, whole foods detox can help the body clean out the “junk” and aid the body in its natural detox processes. Once the lymph, kidneys, liver, gut, skin, and blood are systematically cleaned-out, the body regains its ability to detoxify efficiently.Think of it this way, you change the oil in your car several times a year to keep it running smoothly, right? It’s the same principle here. We’re flushing out the junk and adding in so much of what your body craves that you will be infused with energy and vitality that can be channeled into other areas of your life.

So if you’re ready to give your body the much needed (and deserved!) TLC it’s been screaming for, jump in to my next Whole Foods Seasonal Reboot, which is right around the corner, starting January 8th!

No dieting, no deprivation…just real, whole food nourishment and the power of an awesome community to make the journey extra fun and inspiring! We have an amazing group forming, and would love YOU to be a part of it! 

Find out all that’s included here:

Eat Clean, Live Delicious!

You DESERVE to look and feel amazing. I can help you get there.

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4 Responses to “Handy Reference for When to Spend and Save on Organic”

  1. Hi Beth!

    I follow your blog on and off and live the inspiration! I totally get the idea that organic is not always possible; but personally, do you skip it if it isn’t organic? when grocery shopping, even at Sprouts, a health food store, the organic section is always limited. I debate between just eating from what’s available organically to choosing items that are on the clean list. But then I remember that the soil, the water etc used to grow them is full of chemicals too. What do you do personally?


    bethallen Reply:

    Hi Lara, happy to inspire! 🙂 What I do personally has evolved over time, and it is what is right for me, based on where I’m at in my life. Which is all any of us can do, right? At home, we eat probably 95% organic, ocassionally buying non-organic from the clean 15 list (avocado, canteloupe) when we can’t get them at a reasonable price organic. Reasonable being subjective I realize! I’ll be honest, we spend an abnormal part of our budget on food compared to most people, because this is something I’m really passionate about, and because we have a son that really can’t eat much that’s not super clean. Now we don’t spend much on eating out, and definitely don’t spend money on sick care because we really don’t get sick aside from a quick cold here and there. And that’s worth a lot to me!

    10 years ago, I ate out probably 1/2 the time and bought organic probably 1/2 the time. So it’s an evolution. You have to factor in your budget and your values, and figure out what’s going to work best for you. For people who can’t afford organic all the time, it’s nice to know which are the cleanest and which are the most toxic, thus the post. I’m not sure where you live, but if Sprouts is limited, seek out a farmers market (often they won’t be labeled organic, but you can talk to the farmers and get a sense), or a co-op. And Whole Foods, while pricey, is where I always head after I’ve been to my other stops if there’s something I really need for a recipe and couldn’t find. It’s really such a personal decision, but I hope that helps.


  2. Honestly, this is my first time hearing “Dirty Dozen”. Yeah, I should have saved this image to remind me what to buy and what to ignore. Perhaps, we live or breathe toxicity in this world. We have so much to do in this world and everything is done with chemicals that probably harm our body, harm us, we even fed them as consumption. So, this is truly a great tip to me.
    Jiana´s last blog post ..5 Natural Alternatives for Cardiovascular Health


    bethallen Reply:

    Well I’m glad you found your way here then, Jiana! Definitely save this image to keep handy…it’s a really great place to start when trying to reduce our toxic load.


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