While you maybe already be familiar with the Dirty Dozen, it’s a great time of year to make a new commitment to prioritizing organic — and not just food on the list. Time constraints and budget restrictions can often result in grabbing the closest edible item that resembles a healthy snack. While you may think that you’re doing yourself a favour by eating what you think is fresh fruit, you could actually be consuming particles that are hazardous to your health. Next time you’re at the grocery store, consider taking a trip down the organic aisle for the following products. 


While Apples usually top of the annual Dirty Dozen, strawberries have now trumped the annual list, ranking as the most heavily contaminated foods. Recent findings have shown that up to 17 different pesticides can be found in a single sampling of a strawberry. Chloropicrin, a chemical linked to cancer and respiratory disease, is often applied to strawberry crops in California – the nation’s leader in strawberry production.  


Before you bite into that burger, you may want to think about where your cow is coming from. The antibiotics used to fatten up livestock can have devastating effects on your intestines, causing unpleasant digestive issues. Pesticides from animal feed have also been known to make their way onto your plate. Approved organic meat will also not include additives of any kind.


Many farmers use pumpkins as a clean-up crop since they absorb toxins from the soil. In 2014, California pumpkin farmers dumped close to 14 thousand pounds of Malathion to meet the supply of Halloween pumpkins. Malathion is a suspected endocrine disrupter, cholinesterase inhibiter and a possible carcinogen.