So you want to make healthier choices… but where do you begin?! In my opinion, the best way to start of course is choosing REAL WHOLE FOODS! Go back to the basics! I know lots of people know of course choosing organic is the best because reducing your exposure to pesticides is always a good thing… but I also know, money is an issue as well. Because when you’re starting out, there may be times where you’re thinking, well if I buy all this fresh produce and I either don’t like it or don’t eat it all in time, that’ll be a waste of money right? And you’re right! And this alone deters a lot of people from making better choices! I’ve been there! When I get into that phase of purging everything of out my fridge to make room for new healthy fruits and vegetables, I end up buying WAY TOO MUCH! Then they end up going bad because well, real foods go bad quicker! That’s when you know, it’s REAL FOODS! But I don’t want this to stop you from having fresh whole foods in your diet! Again, small changes overtime and you’ll reap the benefits in a huge way later. So don’t go and buy every vegetable and fruit you see in the store just yet!
But anyways the Environmental Working Group (EWG) recently updated its annual Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen lists so that it helps lots of people identify which fruits and vegetables are highest in pesticides. Many shoppers don’t realize that pesticide residues are common on conventionally grown produce, even after it is carefully washed or peeled. This info helps you to become more aware of which foods have the highest amount pesticides, so of course, those are the items that you probably should buy organic. And if they are on the Clean Fifteen list, you can probably get away with buying inorganic to save you a little bit more money.. and of course a little more peace of mind knowing its low on the pesticide list.
WHAT DOES THE LISTS MEAN
If you’re trying to reduce your exposure to pesticides, items high on the Dirty Dozen list can either be avoided or purchased organically. The EWG singled out produce with the highest loads of pesticide residues. Also helpful, the Clean Fifteen list ranks produce grown using conventional methods but with low levels of pesticide residue.
DIRTY DOZEN 2018
- Sweet bell peppers
Clean Fifteen 2018
- Sweet Corn (the EWG notes this is likely to be genetically modified)
- Sweet peas (frozen)
- Papayas (the EWG notes this is likely to be genetically modified)
- Honeydew melons
Check out the EWG for the full reports!
Click here to see a Full List of the produce provided by EWG!
HOW TO PROPERLY WASH YOUR PRODUCE
Gently rubbing them under running water is best. I myself have not used those commercial fruit and veggie sprays, so I can’t say if that works better or not and I have not researched it at all… but save some money and just use your running water! No need for any soaps, detergents, bleaches (bleh) or other toxic cleaning chemicals (I don’t know who would anyways if you’re trying to reduce the toxic chemicals in your body).
Produce that are firm like potatoes or apples can be scrubbed with a brush and rinsing it under running water.
Lettuce and cabbage, just discard the outer leaf and rinse the rest of the leaves under water as well… scrubbing it with the brush or as I’ve used my fingers have done the trick. If you can visibly see more dirt on them, don’t be afraid to rinse them more and scrub them a bit more. I’ve found dirt more on the root veggies like beets or even Swiss chard too.
Mushrooms I’ve found that scrubbing it first to get the dirt off is easier than putting them under running water to begin with. Otherwise it makes it harder for the dirt to come off… I’ve needed to wipe it off with a towel sometimes to get the dirt off.
Then will all of them, I just let them sit out either on a towel or clean strainer until they dry!
Hope this will help you in choosing some fresh and healthier options! Have fun trying out new fruits and vegetables that you’ve never tried before. Go out of your comfort zone! And take note how your body feels when you try something new and fresh in your diet. Look up different ways to prepare the new foods that you’re trying. It can be fun and you can discover a new vegetable that you may like!
Hope you all have a great day!
Peace, Love and Awesomeness,
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