Dirty Dozen

Good evening friends and family. In August I did a demo at  Veggie Fest in Chicago. I made BBQ Tempeh and Cabbage pepper slaw. What an experience that was! Take a look at their website for the recipes.

During the demo I spoke about deciding what type of vegetables or fruits to purchase when you go to the fresh market or super market.

Back in the day when I grew up with my Grandma she just went to the

market on Saturday morning and brought some of their fresh

produce right off the back of the farm trucks or we picked fresh fruits and veggies from the garden or trees.  Today you will find several choices, organic, non-GMO, USDA certified organic and conventional. Sometimes you will find yourself saying what should I buy. If you look at the prices of organic you might say they are too costly.

A few years ago I heard about two handy lists- the first is the Dirty  Dozen and the second is called Clean Fifteen. (See the lists from 2019 below.) There Is an organization called Environmental Workers Group (EWG) who tests samples of fruits and vegetables every year for the amount of toxic pesticide residue. They list the produce based on the amount of residue they find- higher residue gets on the Dirty Dozen List  and lower residues get on the Clean 15 List. If you go to their website, you can print find printable lists that can be taken to the market when you go shopping.

For the last 4-5 years it looks like apples, strawberries and grapes

are always on the dirty dozen list. That said; you should always purchase USDA certified organic when you get these three fruits.

On the flip side; cabbage, avocadoes, and pineapple are on the clean 15 list. You can purchase conventional versions of these three foods since their tested samples do not have high pesticide residues.

With regards to GMO and non-GMO;  look for items labelled non-GMO. Purchase certified organic to steer clear of non-GMO produce. 

If you have the time; the best is to be able to pick fresh produce from your own back yard or roof top garden. 

EWG 2019
Strawberries Avocados
Spinach Sweet Corn
Kale Pineapples
Nectarines Sweet Frozen Peas
Apples Onions
Grapes Papayas
Peaches Eggplant
Cherries Asparagus
Pears Kiwis
Tomatoes Cabbage
Potatoes Cauliflower
Celery Cantaloupes
Honeydew Melons


Don’t forget to purchase your copy of my cookbook- “Vegan Cooking for the Soul”. It contains over 65 plant based recipes of dishes that my

Family, friends and I enjoy like cornbread, sweet potato pie and macaroni and cheese.