Did you know that certain foods put you more at risk for pesticide ingestion than others?

Yep, if you’ve ever heard of the ‘Dirty Dozen’, then you know that every year, the Environmental Working Group publishes a list of the top 12 produce items that are conventionally farmed with the highest amount of pesticide residue. And for the past couple of years, tomatoes have held a spot on that list.

Why are tomatoes on the Dirty Dozen?

Tomatoes have infamously held a spot on this list as a result of their thin skins, which absorb any chemical spray applied to them during production. To avoid ingesting the higher than average amount of chemicals sprayed onto tomatoes, always buy organic.

Organic tomatoes also contain higher levels of antioxidants.

Besides absorbing less pesticides, a study from the University of Barcelona found that organic tomatoes actually contain higher levels of phenolic compounds, which have been associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular and degenerative diseases, and even some forms of cancer. This is a result of organic farming not using nitrogenous fertilizers, which results in plants activating their own defense mechanisms, increasing the levels of antioxidants.

Even if you don’t shop 100% organic, prioritize tomatoes.

Ketchup, a mainstay BBQ season condiment, is a great example of when it really is worth it to go organic even if you can’t currently afford to buy 100% organic groceries. As you can imagine, ketchup, which is made by cooking down lots and lots of tomatoes until they become the consistency of sauce. It’s a concentrated amount of tomatoes to be consuming, and while tomatoes have many health benefits, choosing non-organic products means that you’re potentially ingesting a large amount of pesticides and toxins.

What’s the bottom line?

Buying organic produce is often more expensive. But If you are someone who is concerned about their health, the well being of the farmers who grow your produce, as well as the environment, choosing organic often addresses all of these areas at once. In the case of avoiding pesticide exposure, take a look at the Dirty Dozen and consider at least making the switch to buying those particular produce items (and their byproducts) from the organic section. Tomatoes are on the list, which means that products like ketchup, pasta sauce, and tomato paste are all worth considering organic for.


As you know, we are very pro organic here at Spud, and work hard to source the highest quality, organic produce we can to keep you and your family healthy. We know that cultivating a healthy lifestyle often means small, gradual changes, so how about making the switch to organic ketchup? It’s as easy as adding it to your next order. And if it even needs to be said, organic ketchup tastes the same!

Happy grilling season, everyone!


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