Guest Blog Post – Renee Sullivan

What you need to know about the dirty dozen & the clean 15

Written on June 1, 2011 by admin in Healthy Eating

How do you decide which foods go into your grocery cart at the super market and which do not? If you are trying to eat healthy, sometimes the choices are quite obvious, like choosing Special K instead of Captain Crunch as a breakfast cereal. What about the choices that are not so obvious like in the produce isle? Before you take another bite of that apple you might want to continue reading.

We know that the best choice is to buy organic. However buying organic is not always feasible, budget more often than not will play a role in the decision making process. If budget is an issue, you can follow these guidelines from the Environmental Working Group. They have put together a “dirty dozen” list of the foods you should try to buy organic because of the pesticides and chemicals used to produce them.

“Some fruits and vegetables can have nine different pesticides in a single serving,” said Jane Houlihan, the senior vice president for research at the Environmental Working Group.

Apples top the list followed by, Celery, Strawberries, Peaches, Spinach, Nectarines-Imported, Grapes-Imported, Sweet Bell Peppers, Potatoes, Bluberries-Domestic,  Lettuce, & Kale/Collard Greens.

If you can afford to, it is recommended to buy the above list organic to reduce your pesticide exposure by 80%.

These foods are considered dirty because of the high pesticide load in the skins or in the fruit itself. Many of the foods come from Genetically Modified seeds that have been injected with Round Up to get them to grow faster. This isn’t natural and the pesticides can’t be washed away! So once they’re injected, they’ll always be dirty no matter what you try to clean it with!

Never Fear There’s a Clean 15!

Here’s the good news…there are 15 produce items that you can buy non-organic, while saving money and cutting down on toxin intake!

Onions, Sweet Corn, Pineapples, Avocado, Asparagus, Sweet Peas, Mangos, Eggplant, Cantaloupe-Domestic, Kiwi, Cabbage, Watermelon, Sweet Potatoes, Grapefruit, & Mushrooms.

The Environmental Working Group says, “Eating the 15 least contaminated foods when you can’t afford to buy organic can cut your pesticide exposure from 10 a day to 2 a day on average”

So, you can buy on a budget while still being healthy. Take The Dirty Dozen and The Clean 15 lists with you when you shop so that you know exactly what to get next time your at the grocery store. You can go ahead and finish that apple, if you want to. I look forward to hearing your comments.

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