What You Need to Know when Buying Organic

26 Jun

We have heard enough about chemicals and pesticides being sprayed in our food and the importance of buying organic.  Truth of the matter is, not everyone can afford switching over to an entirely organic-based diet.  Let’s face it, the cost difference between organic avocados and the regular ones could buy you a bottle of your favourite red wine – and some of us just don’t want to give up our wine!!!

So, which fruits and vegetables should you spend more on?  Which ones can you get away with not buying organic?  The U.S. Environmental Working Group (EWG) has been publishing guides on the dirtiest and cleanest foods since 1995, based on the statistical analysis of the USDA and FDA.  Below is an updated list of the “Dirty Dozen Plus” and the “Clean 15”.  Tests were run in order to find out the amount of pesticide residue found in non-organic fruits and vegetables after they had been pressure washed.

Just to give you a rough idea, the produce that made the “Dirty Dozen” list has been tested positive for almost 50 different chemicals, and this wasn’t just in the skin.  Traces of chemicals have been found all the way down to the seeds.  You may want to remember this next time you think just washing your non-organic fruits is enough to save you from the exposure of harmful toxins found in these fruits and vegetables.

But there’s no need to panic.  Just remember to purchase conventional when choosing produce from the “Clean 15” list.  This list outlines the produce LEAST affected by the chemicals they come in contact with.  Mainly due to thicker skin, these items are able to keep from absorbing the toxins much better than their “Dirty Dozen”  counterparts.

The Dirty Dozen:

  1. celery
  2. apple
  3. cherry tomatoes
  4. cucumbers
  5. grapes
  6. nectarines (imported)
  7. hot peppers
  8. peaches
  9. spinach
  10. potatoes
  11. strawberries
  12. bell peppers
  13. kale/collard greens
  14. summer squash

Clean 15:

  1. asparagus
  2. avocado
  3. cabbage
  4. cantaloupe
  5. sweet corn
  6. eggplant
  7. grapefruit
  8. kiwi
  9. mango
  10. mushrooms
  11. onions
  12. papaya
  13. pineapple
  14. sweet peas
  15. sweet potatoes

Although it’s considered safe to consume the “Clean 15” without going organic, never forget to thoroughly wash all of your produce, whether it be organic or conventional.  Water alone won’t always cut it.  Try to use a fruit and veggie cleaner if you can. Remember that your produce travels through many hands before reaching yours so be safe and eat clean!!!

Until next time,

Have a fit and fabulous day!!

Lisa

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