Thursday, June 03, 2010

Buying organic produce-the dirty dozen & clean fifteen

I love strawberries, and I really love how inexpensive they are this time of year. However, I recently found out something sad. Did you know that strawberries are one of the most sprayed types of produce? Sadly, these deliciously sweet treats are ranked 47 of 49 on a list from least to most sprayed fruits, meaning the only other types of produce that surpass them in the amounts of pesticides used on them are peaches and celery. 

We are slowly trying to transition into buying more local, organically grown food, after reading a lot about all the chemicals, processing, irradiation, and use of GMO's associated with conventional food. I had no idea about all that so much of our "food" goes through here in America before it lands on our plates, but it's kinda scary. However, organic food is EXPENSIVE! But we all know this. I would love to be able to buy all organics, but it's just not feasible for us. So, we are focusing on transitioning to buying more locally grown food that is grown with more organic means of farming. We also feel that it's important to support our local farmers, and it just feels good to know where your food is coming from. Still, it is often more money, and I am definitely in process of learning how to stretch our dollars and cut out unnecessary processed food so that we can afford more quality food, even though it might mean eating less in portion sizes for the sake of eating more nutrient rich, nourishing, locally grown food. I'm not willing or able to increase our grocery budget, so I am in the process of learning to maximize the quality of food we do buy and cutting out the processed junk.

Many of you have probably heard of the "Dirty Dozen" and the "Clean fifteen" when it comes to which produce is the most and least heavily sprayed. The Environmental Working Group released this list, and I've printed out two copies: One to have on my fridge, and another to keep in my purse for when I am grocery shopping. Many of us simply cannot afford to buy 100% organic food, so keeping these lists in mind is a good compromise. Right now, I'm trying to start buying more of things that are in season and aren't as heavily sprayed, less of what has been sprayed, and what I do buy that needs to be organic, I'll certainly be savoring more than I used to! I am definitely in process on this journey to eating whole foods, but this is a good starting point.


1 comment:

Anca said...

Hey Nancy. I appreciate this post. I don't know if you watch Penn & Teller (I have a real problem with their extraneous cursing), but they did an awesome job of "exposing" organic food. They repudiated the idea that organic food has better nutrients, a smaller environmental impact, less harmful pesticides, and better taste than non-organic foods. Ever since that episode, I am not quite sure that organic is necessarily "better". Just a thought...but like I said before...I've bought into the organic is "better" & buy a lot of organic. It's just interesting to research the other side too.