9 Vegetables You Shouldn’t Buy Organic

In a world where GMO labelling is not required, and pesticides are sprayed on absolutely everything, it’s hard to know what’s safe to eat. We’ve been working on our family budget, and it’s just not feasible for us to eat 100% organic…as much as we want to. We do adhere to the “dirty dozen”, avoiding all 12 of the fruits and vegetables found by the Environmental Working Group to contain a high level of pesticides.

[fancy_box id=2]Be sure to download my [content_upgrade id=10363]Farmer’s Market Checklist![/content_upgrade][/fancy_box]

In case you’re wondering, that “dirty dozen” list includes:

  1. Strawberries
  2. Apples
  3. Nectarines
  4. Peaches
  5. Celery
  6. Grapes
  7. Cherries
  8. Spinach
  9. Tomatoes
  10. Sweet bell peppers
  11. Cherry tomatoes
  12. Cucumbers

Which really isn’t a lot. I’m not a huge tomato fan (shocker), so that pares our family down to 10 or so items. It can be frustrating to shop and find that there aren’t any organic cucumbers or spinach available when I wanted to make a green salad, however.

Is purchasing organic vegetables blowing your grocery budget? Find out the 9 veggies that could save you tons of money!

Thankfully, there are 10 vegetables that don’t fall on the dirty dozen list…and don’t break the bank. And the boys love {most of} them.

Vegetables You Don’t Have to Buy Organic


According to EWG analyses, asparagus is one of the vegetables that is least likely to contain pesticide residue. It’s is actually a cousin of onion and garlic, which I was surprised to learn! It’s a great source of fiber, while being packed with nutrients like vitamins A, C, E and K, and essential minerals like calcium, magnesium, zinc, folate, and chromium.


Cabbage is usually a safe bet because it contains little pesticide residue. It’s also a great source of vitamins C and K, and delicious in eggroll in a bowl.


Carrots have very little pesticide residue on the surface, which I wash and then peel off. If you’re a fan of dipping your vegetables, opt to purchase whole carrots and avoid the baby variety. As an added bonus, carrots are a wonderful source of vitamin A.


Cauliflower has virtually no discernible pesticide residue. It’s high in dietary fiber, folate, potassium and vitamin C, and a great substitute for rice!


Eggplant is a good source of fiber, potassium and magnesium, and the pesticides used on this crop are easily washed off the skin. I’m not an eggplant fan, but if you are, go ahead and save your money by choosing the conventional counterpart for this vegetable.


According to EWG, onions contain significantly lower pesticide residue than other conventionally-grown produce. Onions are high in vitamin C, folate and dietary fiber, plus they make everything taste delicious.


According to EWG, sweet peas contain very little pesticide residue and it is safe to buy the conventionally-grown variety. Sweet peas contain more fiber than most vegetables, just one cup contains a whopping 14 grams of fiber. That’s a lot for a little vegetable!

Sweet Corn

Because of their husk, sweet corn contains very minimal pesticides. Though, if you’re concerned about GMOs (like me), it is best to purchase from the farmer’s market so you can talk to the farmer and verify the growing conditions (as well as the seed used).

[fancy_box id=2]Be sure to download my [content_upgrade id=10363]Farmer’s Market Checklist![/content_upgrade] …it’s FREE![/fancy_box]

Sweet Potato

Sweet potatoes have a thick skin, means they have very little pesticide residue. They are packed with nutrients, including vitamin A, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, thiamin, niacin and riboflavin. They are high in carotenoids, which are powerful antioxidants. I love using sweet potatoes as a base for paleo tacos.

Look at the Skin

One of the easiest ways to remember which vegetables you can buy conventional is to look for those that have a thick exterior skin, or even better, have an exterior you don’t eat at all.

Were you surprised by any of these vegetables?

Posted in


1 Comment

  1. […] You can view the complete list HERE. […]

Leave a Comment