Let’s face it, eating healthy in today’s society takes work. Eating an apple or potato today is not the same as it was when our grandparents sat down at their dinner tables. GMO’s and pesticides have become the new norm and food shopping can be more like navigating a jungle than a walk in the park. Organic produce is not sprayed with with pesticides or grown with genetically modified seeds. Organic foods are foods that are grown to comply with the organic standards of farming and restrict the use of certain pesticides or fertilizers. Pesticide induced diseases include: certain cancers, autism, Alzhaimer’s, endocrine disruption, fertility issues, asthma, allergies, diabetes and more! Crazy, I know.
I a not writing today’s post to scare you, but more to sprinkle some knowledge upon you to help you navigate this difficult landscape and help you decide what items to purchase organically. A good rule of thumb for me when food shopping is that if I am going to eat the skin I always buy organic. Greens, no question! I learned my lesson in non-organic greens last year when I was in a bind. I opened the bag, washed and prepared my salad, only to take a bite and it literally tasted like cleaning fluid! Although organic may be better for you it can also be quite expensive; however, if you shop with the seasons, take advantage of weekend farmers markets and go to stores like ALDI and Trader Joe’s you may be surprised to find affordable organically grown options. Produce that is grown organically is always going to be a better option for you. So today, I am sharing what is known as the “CLEAN 15” and “THE DIRTY DOZEN”.
EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™ is updated every year and in the new year I will keep you posted on any changes! As for now here is a suggested list of the U.S.A.’s cleanest and and most pesticide ridden produce options to help make your choices a little bit easier while food shopping. The “Dirty Dozen” are the produce options highest in pesticides and fertilizers and should almost always be purchased organic. The “Clean Fifteen” are the produce options you can buy with the least amount of chemicals used throughout the farming process.
The Dirty Dozen
Sweet Bell Peppers
The Clean 15
Sweet Corn (NON GMO)
Sweet Peas (Frozen)
Papaya (NON GMO)
If you always wonder what to buy organic and what you can forgo your pennies…use this list as a reference. Download the Clean Fifteen & Dirty Dozen list and make sure to check out the updated list from the EWG every year.