Dirty dozen and clean fifteen

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Taken from EWG's website  http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/list.php

Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce Taken from EWG’s website

Dirty Dozen & Clean Fifteen

The Dirty Dozen & Clean Fifteen list is a result of data taken from the  U.S. Department of Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration compiled by EWG.  http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/list.php The list is updated every year. The Dirty Dozen are popular household produce that contain the highest amount of pesticide residue. The Clean Fifteen list is a compilation of the popular produce containing the least concentrations of pesticide residue.

Purchasing organic food is not always an option. This produce list helps shoppers make the decision of what produce can be purchased non-organic with the least effects on the body and earth. If organic food is not a viable option, non-organic whole foods are always a healthier choice rather than processed foods. Organically grown produce can often be more expensive, so it typically depends on the consumer’s choice. Is purchasing Organic worth it or not?

Why choose organic?

Organic farming is the practice of growing food in living soil rather than nutrient depleted soil. Ongoing pesticide use along with chemical contamination has resulted in the bastardization of growing soil. When fruit and vegetables are grown in pesticide laden soil, the pesticide is absorbed  into the plant and ingested when eaten. On the contrary, if fruit and veg are grown in soil that has been nourished with decaying plant matter and weeded by hand instead of sprayed, the plant then absorbs beneficial nutrients from the soil. This process results in a food that is essentially more alive. These beneficial nutrients have many health and beauty benefits of which deserve an entire post of their own. Using an abundance of chemicals in our home effects plants, animals, insects and our future generations.

Ways to counterbalance the costs of buying organic

1. Food preservation

Take advantage of seasons of abundance. In the summer and early fall months when fruits and vegetables are abundant and less costly, set aside some time to make preserves. Canning is a great way to stock up for the winter months while saving on costs. Allocate some time each week in the summer to wash and cut vegetables for stir fries, soups and stews. Bag the vegetable medleys into individual, freezer-friendly containers and store in the freezer for future dinners when produce prices have increased. Dehydrating fruits make a tasty snack for work or for kid’s lunches.

2. Create simple menus before heading to the grocery store or farmers market

Organize meals into a clear list to avoid purchasing unneeded, impulse buys at the market. This method also minimizes the risk of produce going rotten before being used. A great method to avoid food waste is to create a “fridge soup” a week after your grocery shop with any veggies that are at risk of going to waste. Fruit that is at a risk of being wasted can be made into fruit sauces or dehydrated for snacks.

3. Buy from local farmer’s markets

Supporting  local helps the local economy and will impact your place of business as well.

Now that you have the list of Dirty Dozen & Clean Fifteen available to you, print the list and bring it with you to the grocers or farmers market. This handy guide will help you to make informed choices. Once again, if organic isn’t an option, whole foods prepared at home are always better than refined or prepared commercial foods.

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