Are you torn between paying extra money for organic foods and focusing more on eating healthier. I get a lot of questions from my clients in Alexandria, VA, whether choosing organic food is really that important. The answer is yes and no. I know, that’s not the answer most people want but it’s the right answer. Some organic food doesn’t come with any particular benefits, while other food that’s organic does. You can find out which is which by following the Dirty Dozen List and the Clean Fifteen.
The Dirty Dozen is a list based on data collected by the EWG— Environmental Working Group.
The EWG is a non-profit organization that focuses on health and the environment. They do everything from testing cosmetics to studying GMOs and the effects of pesticides on food. The purchase samples of fruits and vegetables across the country and test them for pesticides each year. Then they identify those that have contaminants and pesticides even after washing. The top 12 and sometimes 13 make up the Dirty Dozen and the bottom 15 that show the least contamination are the Clean 15.
When you shop, you can choose non-organic from the Clean 15 list.
Go organic for the Dozen and opt for cheaper non-organic choices when purchasing fruits and vegetables on the Clean 15 list. For another consecutive year, strawberries, kale, and spinach are at the top of the Dirty Dozen list, containing the highest amount of pesticides even after they’re washed. Apples, grapes, peaches, cherries, pears, tomatoes, celery and potatoes are also on the list. Even hummus has now been questioned depending on the source of the chickpeas are from.
What’s on the Clean 15 list?
Food that didn’t test high in pesticides, regardless of how it’s grown include avocados, sweet corn, pineapples, onions, papaya, frozen sweet peas, eggplants, asparagus, cauliflower, cantaloupe, mushrooms, broccoli, cabbage, honeydew melon and kiwi. You’ll notice many of those foods have their own protection from insecticides, like a thick skin, or like onions, actually deter pests.
- Don’t forget to check your animal products for organic foods, which is really important. Seafood from the wild rather than farmed, grass fed beef without hormones or antibiotics and free range eggs and poultry are good choices that have other health benefits, too.
- Whether organic food is higher in nutrition or not is still up for debate. Some research shows it might be more nutritious. The reason may be the actual fertilizer, such as compost, that’s used, rather than the conventional fertilizer of chemicals.
- If you’re worried about GMO food, be careful. Some of the fruits and vegetables on the list of the Clean 15 may be GMO food if you don’t buy organic. Some summer squash, papaya and sweet corn can come from GMO seeds.
- Grass-fed beef has a higher amount of antioxidants, vitamins and conjugated linoleic acid that improves immunity and is anti-inflammatory. It contains a lower potential for antibiotic resistant bacteria. Eggs from free range chickens also contain more antioxidants, flavonoids and omega-3.
For more information, contact us today at The Worx