Sunday, August 26, 2012

A Guide For Produce Shopping

 Chances are that most of you reading this article are on a budget.  When you choose how to spend your money you probably want to get the most out of it.  Here is a very good guide to produce shopping that will help you spend your money on the healthiest foods, while still watching that old budget, and your health...

The dirty dozen

The EWG (environmental working group) cleverly calls the 12 fruits and vegetables listed below the "dirty dozen" due to their high levels of pesticides, when compared to other produce. If possible, purchase the following organic produce.

1. Apples
Fruit tray
(Photo from stock.xchng)
2. Celery
3. Strawberries
4. Peaches
5. Spinach
6. Nectarines
7. Grapes
8. Sweet bell peppers
9. Potatoes
10. Blueberries
11. Lettuce
12. Kale/collard greens

The clean 15

This next group of 15 produce are known by the EWG as the "clean 15". They are the lowest in toxic pesticides, so if you're going to buy non-organic produce, these would be the ones to buy.

1. Onions
August Vegetables  3
(Photo from stock.xchng)
2. Sweet corn
3. Pineapples
4. Avocado
5. Asparagus
6. Sweet peas
7. Mangoes
8. Eggplant
9. Cantaloupe
10. Kiwi
11. Cabbage
12. Watermelon
13. Sweet potatoes
14. Grapefruit
15. Mushrooms

Consuming foods from the clean 15 will lower your pesticide exposure a whopping 92% when compared with the dirty dozen. By choosing five fruits and vegetables a day from the clean 15 list you'll consume fewer than two pesticides per day, whereas consuming five fruits and vegetables a day from the dirty dozen will cause you to ingest as many as 14 different pesticides every day.

What is this information based on?

This information is based on an analysis of 51,000 tests for pesticides conducted from 2001-2009 by the USDA and the FDA on 53 popular fruits and vegetables. The produce in the tests were rinsed and peeled so that they would simulate the conditions in which they are normally consumed.

How bad are pesticides?

We don't have enough data on long-term pesticide exposure on humans, but it is likely that Americans are polluted with far more pesticides than current studies report. Not surprisingly, pesticidemanufacturers and the companies that use the pesticides claim there is no link between pesticide exposure and health risks. It's this type of outlandish claim that should make Americans question exactly how dangerous pesticides are and the possible long-term health effects of them. Pesticides are designed to kill living organisms. With that in mind we should all make an effort to purchase, at least the more toxic produce, in the organic section.

(sourceJohn Mckiernan is a health and fitness writer. He is the owner of Supplement Helper where he writessupplement reviews and more. He also manages CNA Info, a small blog aimed at answering questions for anyone interested in CNA work.

I totally agree with what he has shared with a small side note.  If they are not USDA organic then there is a chance they can still be genetically modified.  That is most likely the case with corn and non-heirloom tomatoes.  Not too many fruits have been messed with yet, although papaya from Hawaii is likely GM.  Also the root vegetables and onions have probably been sprayed with a chemical that inhibits the growth of roots, however if you aren't eating the exterior hopefully that doesn't matter much.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has an iphone/ ipad app, called the Non-GMO Shopping Guide that's a great help.  Here's a look at it for those who want to download it, or if you just want to read up on it there are some really helpful tips!

Oh for the day when we can eat food without it being chemically coated!  Until then I hope you find this list to be helpful!  ;)

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