Dirty Dozen and Clean 15

30 Jan 2015

You’ve probably all heard it: eat more fruits and vegetables. But did you know that your favorite fruits and veg could be causing you to get sick?

The produce you munch away on to get healthier, leaner and reduce sugar cravings is packed with pesticides and chemicals leading to health problems you might not even be aware of!

It’s a sad fact that the United States uses 1.2 billion pounds of pesticides a year and only 0.01% actually reach the bugs (the intended use), the rest ends up contaminating our food, water and air! Even after properly washing your produce, 63% of commonly purchased produce still had at least one pesticide on it.11821-1

Health risks associated with pesticides:

  • skin, eye, lung irritation
  • hormone disruption (can cause early onset puberty)
  • brain & nervous system toxicity
  • cancer
  • blood & nerve disorders
  • birth defects
  • reproduction effects

Those most at risk are children, people who live downstream from (non-organic) farms and people consistently ingesting unwashed produce.

Now I’m not writing all this to scare you, or say that you must buy everything organic… because let’s face it, that’s really not realistic when most people are working more than one job, living paycheck to paycheck or a full-time student. My job is merely to pass on what I’ve learned and simple tips & tricks to make YOUR life easier and to save money!

I’d like to share the clean 15 and dirty dozen (+), codes to look for when buy produce and the most effective way to wash it to remove dirt and pesticides.

Dirty Dozen and Clean 15

Quite simply this means, when possible buy the dirty dozen organic. The clean 15 is not as important to buy organic if you are on a tight budget, although I always recommend buying produce organic (and local from the farmers market!) as it tastes better, has more nutrients and you typically eat less. Think overfeeding and undernourished versus underfeeding and over nourished.

11819-1Now when it comes to look at those labels that are stuck on fruit and vegetables in the grocery store here is an easy guide to follow:

  • 4 digit codes starting with 3 or 4: conventionally (non-organic) grown
  • 5 digit codes starting with 9: organic
  • 5 digit codes starting with 8: genetically modified (I will do another post on GM foods)

So you’ve bought your produce, conventional, organic or from the farmer’s market, now what?

Cleaning your produce

  • Step 1: Remove from packing and add to a big bowl (or pot). Fill with water and add 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar.
  • Step 2: Swirl the water around and try to remove any grime or dirt. Then let it sit for 10 minutes.
  • Step 3: Drain and rinse under running water. Now store in your fridge for produce that is clean and will last longer.

I hope this post helps you to understand a bit more on when it’s very important to buy organic, how to wash your produce and what it means to be eating these nasty chemicals that our goverments allow to be placed on our food.




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