Friday, June 15, 2012

The Dirty Dozen

This post isn't about the movie, The Dirty Dozen {though a great "guy" movie}, but rather this kind of dirty dozen....

Let me apologize beforehand, if this post seems a bit "preachy", but I'm just passionate about healthy food and am easily outraged when the public is misinformed by big corporate food growers! 

For this post, I'll just touch on fruits and vegetables.  I'll talk about meat, dairy and other foods another time.

Going organic can be spendy, but it doesn't have to be if you know what MUST be bought organic and what things are not as critical.  In general, tree fruits, berries, leafy greens dominate the list. Since the USDA tests produce after a typical household preparation, fruits and vegetables with thick skins that are removed before eating (melons, avocado, corn, etc.) tend to have the lowest amounts of pesticide residue.

I thought I'd post the list of the top 12 things that have been found to have the highest pesticide residue. {Hence the name "The Dirty Dozen"} Keep this list with you when you are grocery shopping as a handy little reminder. :-) 

1.  Apples (this also means apple juice and apple sauce)
2.  Celery
3.  Strawberries
4.  Peaches
5.  Spinach
6.  Nectarines
7.  Grapes (this also means raisins, and quite possibly wine)
8.  Sweet bell peppers
9.  Potatoes (sweet potatoes are a good alternative with much less residue)
10. Blueberries
11. Lettuce
12. Kale and Collard Greens

One little caveat to this list.  The other enemy is GMO (geneticallly modified organisms).  Avoid GMO foods like the plague! To learn more about this go here and here.  The three most common GMO foods are soybeans, corn, and canola oil. 

I avoid soy.  It is not the health food they would like you to think it is.  For information on soy go here.  You also might have thought you were choosing a healthy oil to use.  Instead of canola oil, use olive oil or coconut oil.

Here are some facts you should know...

100% organic labeled food will not have any pesticides at all - so of course, if your budget allows, that is the most desirable.

Organic means 95% is organic with 5% being approved non organic ingredients.

"Farm Fresh" doesn't always mean organic - so ask your local farmer or farm stand owner!

Until recently, I assumed GMO food could not be called "organic." The U.S. and Canada both prohibit 100% certified organic food from containing GMO ingredients. However, contamination of the crops may cause organic food to contain some percentage of GMO ingredients.  {Monsanto should be STOPPED!! That's another post for another day!}

Also - the peeps (managers) at Trader Joe's have told me that anything with a Trader Joe's label is non-GMO, even products that are not 100% organic. {But I've not seen that in writing.}

I hope this list helps you buy healthy, delicious produce this summer season.
Enjoy that fresh goodness!

1 comment:

  1. Amen to everything you said! Have you seen the frozen organic berries at your Costco? Great deal - 3 lb. for around $8-9! Great thawed on oatmeal or in a smoothie. Fresh organic berries are so costly.
    This is a helpful site - if you haven't seen it yet.


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