Don’t Waste Money on These 9 Foods

Dear Rich Lifer,


We all know that health is wealth, right? After all, what’s the point of having money if you’re not well enough to live long and enjoy it?


One of the aspects of health we have control over is our diet. Unfortunately for us, the very word “diet” brings up negative feelings, and with that word comes a whole host of misinformation…


Luckily, though, there are things that almost all experts agree upon when it comes to the food we eat. 


One of those is the need for certified organic foods instead of foods that are treated with harsh antibiotics and pesticides. Those chemicals often remain in or on the food we consume, and, as such, we get the nutrition from the food…


As well as the ill effects from the chemicals. 


The fruits and vegetables that are the worst offenders when it comes to pesticides are known as…

 The Dirty Dozen

These are all thin-skinned fruits and veggies that easily absorb the pesticides sprayed on them. This means that no amount of washing will make them totally safe to eat. 


The Dirty Dozen are as follows:

  • Cucumbers
  • Cherries
  • Peaches
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Nectarines
  • Bell Peppers
  • Grapes
  • Strawberries
  • Spinach
  • Celery
  • Apples


The pesticides found on and in these foods even after washing have been linked to serious problems like cancer, reproductive damage, and birth defects. Pretty scary stuff, right?

With facts like these, you might be wondering if you should skip the produce section altogether. 

What’s a Man to Do? 

Not to worry, though. You can buy the organic version of these “dirty dozen” foods and you’ll be ok. 


Maybe you’re worried you’ll need to buy all organic produce… After all, that can be really expensive, and when you’re grocery shopping on a budget, every penny counts. 


Lots of people think that buying organic is the way to go, and seeing that green label in stores makes them feel better about what they’re purchasing…


But seeing the grand total at the register doesn’t feel so great.


Here’s the good news – there are many fruits and vegetables that DON’T have to be organic. 


That’s right – you can save money on these foods and still stay healthy. Here are nine of the most popular  fruits and veggies you can buy without having to splurge on organics.



These funny looking fruits are super popular right now – and with good reason. They’re packed with monounsaturated fatty acids, which help to lower the risk of heart disease, and they’re great in salads, on sandwiches, or even just on their own with a sprinkle of Himalayan pink salt and a squeeze of lime. Also, you don’t have to buy them organic – their bumpy outer shell protects the fruit inside. 



Much like avocados, the outer peel protects America’s favorite fruit from pesticides. According to Statista, American ate over 28.5 pounds of bananas per capita in 2017. This is partially because they’re so affordable – costs come in at about .58 per pound – and because they’re full of nutrients like potassium, too. 



Because of their thick, inedible exterior, many melons are safe to eat without spending extra for the organic version. Cantaloupe is no exception. One more interesting fact? The cantaloupes available in America are not technically cantaloupes – they’re muskmelons. Real European cantaloupes aren’t grown in the USA because they’re harder to grow and not as flavorful.



Pesticides are rarely used on kiwis, and their furry outer skin protects the edible part, too. Per ounce, these small, green fruits are packed with more Vitamin C than most other fruits, and they have a lot of flavor, too. This means a little kiwi can go a long way. 



Because the outside of this Vitamin C-rich fruit is never consumed, you can enjoy pineapple safely without looking for the Organic label. Even better? When tested, over 80% of pineapples had no pesticide residue, so you can mix this into smoothies, add it to a fruit salad, or even put it on top of your pizza without worry. 



You might think you should be concerned about asparagus because of its thin skin, but you don’t actually have to worry about this spring veggie. They are some of the least likely vegetables to contain pesticides, and they’re packed with all sorts of vitamins, including A, C, E, and K. 



Both broccoli and its close relative cauliflower are relatively pesticide free. These cruciferous vegetables have high levels of vitamins C and K, and they contain folate and fiber as well. One thing to note – instead of boiling, it’s better to steam these so you can keep the nutrients intact. 



From corn on the cob to corn chips to corn bread, this vegetable is such a staple in the American diet. The great news is that less than 2% of corn is found to have pesticide on it – once you peel back the outer husk, you’re good to go. If you’re concerned about GMOs, though, know this: as much as 93% of US grown corn has been genetically modified in some way. If you want to avoid that, then you should seek out the organic label after all. 



Onions are grown underground, so you might assume they’d be soaked in pesticides like potatoes and other root vegetables. Luckily, though, onions have those protective, papery layers on the outside, so once you peel them off, they’re totally safe to eat. 

Just the Beginning 

There you have it – nine nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables you can buy safely – and cheaply – without the organic label. 


There are other fruits and veggies out there, too – like sweet peas and mushrooms – but you’ll have to do a little homework to make sure the preparation you’re buying will be low in pesticides. 


For example, fresh sweet peas are likely to have pesticides present, but frozen sweet peas are generally fine thanks to the blanching process they go through before freezing. 


With information like this, you can shop safer and smarter. Instead of splurging on all organic, why not save a little money? After all, buying lots of produce and still having extra cash in the bank feels pretty good, too. 

To a richer life,

Nilus Mattive

Nilus Mattive

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Nilus Mattive

Nilus is the editor for the daily e-letter The Rich Life Roadmap and a Paradigm Press analyst.

Nilus began his professional career at Jono Steinberg’s Individual Investor Group, where he published his original research through a regular investment column. Later, he worked for a private equity business and spent five years editing Standard and Poor’s...

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