HEALTH
Inspiration from Meghan

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Keeping It Clean

 

Organic food is more expensive. Just a fact. Is it worth it? Yes. That is my opinion.

Now let's say, like me, you can't afford to eat everything organic, or what you want not available organic- My rule is always to go organic and local first, and local second. With that in mind however, there are certain foods that I will never ever ever never  touch if they are grown conventionally. There are also foods that may be grown organic, but having to travel such long distances, will be sprayed after they have been harvested (hence my challenge with my organic strawberries that came all the way from Mexico).

The Environmental Working Group just published a list of the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen. For the full list, go here.

The Dirty Dozen (in descending order from worst to still pretty bad)

  1. Peaches
  2. Apples
  3. Sweet Bell Pepper
  4. Celery
  5. Nectarine
  6. Strawberries
  7. Cherries
  8. Kale
  9. Lettuce
  10. Graoes-Imported
  11. Carrot
  12. Pear

The Clean Fifteen (in descending order from spic and span to still okay)

  1. Onion
  2. Avocado
  3. Sweet Corn (frozen)
  4. Pineapple
  5. Mango
  6. Asparagus
  7. Sweet Peas (frozen)
  8. Kiwi
  9. Cabbage
  10. Eggplant
  11. Papaya
  12. Watermelon
  13. Broccoli
  14. Tomato
  15. Sweet Potato

Now, there are some of these I personally agree with and some that I do not. My inherent feeling is that if we are going to be eating the peel, say with tomatoes, we probably want it grown with as little chemicals as possible. My other feeling is that slower growing foods, like squashes and melons, that will be sucking up more from the earth, should be organic. I know this is a bit of a heated and debated issue, but ultimately we just have to do the best we can.

 

7 Responses to “Keeping It Clean”

  1. Coconutgal said…
    I totally agree with you about foods that we eat the peels of, ALWAYS organic! Can you please explain how produce that is certified organic can still be sprayed if it is traveling a long distance? I thought organic meant organic!! And how far is a long distance? Say, if it's coming from a state within your region are you safe? Also can you tell us about the fertilizer issue from Mexico you mentioned in your strawberry post? I have some organic zucchini from Mexico right now and I want to know what that's all about!! Thanks Meghan :)
  2. Meghan Telpner said…
    There are different laws in Mexico, than in Canada and the US about what they can spray on produce. I once read a report on how they were spraying uncomposted fertilizer (read- chicken poop) right on produce. True or not- it just stuck with me. Poop on tomatoes in one field will result on poop on strawberries the next field over. As for the spraying post harvest- these are the pitfalls in the fine print of the USDA regs. As much as possible- by as close to home as you can. And if what you want, isn't available or isn't grown in your local area- then perhaps only have it once in a while as a treat, or eat as much as you can when you are in that area. I had my annual supply of coconut while I was down in the Caribbean. I may have put a dent in their GNP.
  3. gettinggreen said…
    Hmm... that's weird. I read on Treehugger a while ago that it's really important to buy organic avocados and also really important to buy organic bananas. And of course, we all know what you learned about mushroom farming in St. Lucia (or Dominica, or whichever island it was). I don't know... it's hard. I basically just buy everything organic whenever I can and, if it's not possible, I just buy what I want to eat and try to wash it really well. Better that than eating a dinner of nothing but bread and almond butter, I think.
  4. [...] on your friends or partner telling them to drink up and that it’s good for them. And refer to this list if you are limited in what you buy [...]
  5. [...] Of course this didn’t happen and so I opened the freezer and found a massive bag of fresh, local strawberries that my mother had stocked up on and frozen. Into the power blender (a food processor would work too) those sweet strawberries, added a touch of honey for the sweet toothed and I had the absolutely, most perfect dessert. One thing you might like to know about strawberries, that you might not know already is that the ellagitannin content of strawberries has been associated with decreased rates of cancer death. In one study, strawberries topped a list of eight foods most linked to lower rates of cancer deaths among a group of over 1,000 elderly people. Those eating the most strawberries were three times less likely to develop cancer compared to those eating few or no strawberries. There’s a sweet medicine I can swallow. Now- just make sure you’re munching on the organic variety. Strawberries fall into the dirty dozen category. [...]
  6. [...] One thing you might like to know about strawberries, that you might not know already is that the ellagitannin content of strawberries has been associated with decreased rates of cancer death. In one study, strawberries topped a list of eight foods most linked to lower rates of cancer deaths among a group of over 1,000 elderly people. Those eating the most strawberries were three times less likely to develop cancer compared to those eating few or no strawberries. There’s a sweet medicine I can swallow. Now- just make sure you’re munching on the organic variety. Strawberries fall into the dirty dozen category. [...]
  7. [...] This list helps me prioritize what produce to buy organic (anything on the dirty dozen list), and stay in our grocery budget (source). [...]

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