About double the price and a hassle â thatâs what itâll cost you to stay away from the âDirty Dozenâ of produce.
At least thatâs what I found in my very unscientific attempt. Armed with my âDirty Dozenâ iPhone app, I hit the stores in north Austin, Texas, looking for âcleanâ produce.
I donât want to get into an argument on the merits of the Environmental Working Groupâs list â the only produce they recommend buying is organic. I wanted to try to buy it myself and see what itâs going to cost me, the average consumer, in time, effort and money.
I hit up a Randalls, which is a banner of Pleasanton, Calif.-based Safeway, first. I figured the area I was shopping was pretty progressive and should have the majority of these items in conventional and organic.
I was wrong.
At Randalls, I found only five of the âDirty Dozenâ in organic â grapes, spinach, apples (gala, in this case), blueberries and strawberries.
Well, Iâm in Austin, right? In the home town of Whole Foods Market Inc. I should be able to find the rest there, shouldnât I?
At Whole Foods, I found potatoes, celery, peaches, nectarines and kale but no cherries or bell peppers.
I talked to the clerk in the department and he said they had organic cherries last week for about $4.99 a pound. The sweet bell peppers have been scarce this season, he said. The organic green bell peppers were selling for $2.99.
I spent a total of $17.49 on the conventional versions, in roughly the same amounts and prices, for the 12 items on the list.
For the organic versions, I spent $24.05. If I had been able to find organic equivalents for the amount of cherries and bell peppers I bought in conventional, youâd have to add another $11.28 for 1.23 pounds of cherries and a bell pepper for $2.99.
So, I spent $17.49 for the âDirty Dozenâ and $35.33 for the same produce in organic.
Iâm going to let you decide what you want to do with that information.
For now, I need to figure out what to do with two bunches of kale, two packages of spinach, two peaches, two nectarines, two potatoes, 2 pounds of strawberries, two 6-ounce containers of blueberries, 2 pounds of grapes, a red bell pepper, 1.23 pounds of cherries and two heads of celery.
What's your take on the Dirty Dozen? Leave a comment and tell us your opinion.