Organic Strawberries vs. Conventionally Grown Strawberries - Amanda Hilton
Organic Strawberries vs. Conventionally Grown Strawberries
Dirty Dozen #1: Strawberries

Amanda Hilton

March 19, 2022
(updated September 6, 2023)

Each year, the EWG (Environmental Working Group), produces a list of 12 fruits and vegetables (The Dirty Dozen) that contain the highest concentration of chemicals when grown conventionally, meaning with use of synthetic chemicals or GMO’s (genetically modified organisms). It can be difficult to digest the copious amounts of information out there about choosing organic foods and with the cost of groceries steadily rising, choosing organic can get expensive. As a nutritionist, I generally recommend when my clients are trying to make the switch to healthier, more nutritious foods, that they start by purchasing organic produce from the Dirty Dozen list. A small step like this can have a big impact on a person’s health while still being gentle on their pockets. See my previous post The Low Down on Organic for the full 2023 list of the Dirty Dozen.


The first item on the 2023 Dirty Dozen list is strawberries. These deliciously sweet berries grow close to the soil and their sweetness is very attractive to pests so it is clear why this berry usually pulls in at number one on the list, year after year. Large amounts of pesticides are used on conventionally grown strawberries to keep bugs away from spoiling the fruit. Because strawberries grow so close to the ground, there are plenty of pests with easy access and the berries will basically sit in the soil marinating in chemicals while they ripen.

If you like to snack on these berries all year round then you may be taking in even more chemicals. Large companies that grow conventional strawberries that are being shipped internationally, will use more chemicals so that customers don’t receive a container of smooshed or unripe strawberries that will be difficult to sell. Choosing to pick strawberries locally can be a better option since an extra dose of chemicals is not needed for shipping and the fruit is often tastier as they are picked at their ripest.

Top Dollar

Recently, I have switched from buying “fresh” organic strawberries to purchasing them frozen. At a whopping $10 for a container that my family of six will go through easily in 2 days, it just wasn’t feasible. For now, I’ll buy an extra large Costco size bag of organic frozen strawberry slices that the kids love cause they taste like “candy”. Frozen berries are picked when they are ripe and juicy, then flash frozen to retain their nutrients. In June, strawberry season, the kids and I will make a day of hitting the strawberry fields and picking a bunch to wash and freeze for the next off-season strawberry inflation.

Nutritional Highlights

Not only are strawberries super tasty and sweet but they have an added boost of fiber and vitamin C. Dietary fiber can aid with digestion and prevent constipation while vitamin C supports the immune system helping to prevent common cold and flu.


Our children will eat strawberries fresh or frozen just the way they are, but another way they like to indulge on these sweet berries is with some Berry "Nice" Cream:

1 cup frozen strawberries
1 banana, frozen

Combine in a blender until smooth and creamy.
Divide into dessert bowls and add delicious toppings (unsweetened shredded coconut, dairy-free mini chocolate chips, chopped walnuts, drizzled almond butter - these are just a few of our favs)


Dirty Dozen

Strawberries are number one on the EWG's Dirty Dozen list, follow along with my blog as I chat about the other 11 fruits and veggies that contain high amounts of synthetic chemicals. Also, check out my Instagram page @amandahiltonrhn for posts about our local organic community food share and for healthy organic meal ideas.