Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Dirty Dozen

No, not that dirty dozen
While the dirty dozen I'm talking about may not be on the hunt for Nazi officers, it has been suggested that my dirty dozen may be more lethal.

The dirty dozen, in regard to health, is comprised of the twelve fruits and vegetables with the highest levels of pesticide residue. This list is developed by the Department of Agriculture who recommends simply by switching to organic versions of these foods you can reduce exposure by around 80%.

The argument could be made that the benefits of consuming fruits and vegetables far outweighs the risk of a little pesticide consumption but if you have access to the organic versions(or better still the LOCAL versions), this may be the time to spend a little extra money. At the same time spending extra money for labels like "All Natural", or "Free Range"(there are no requirements for the amount, duration, and quality of outdoor access) may not be produce any extra health benefits.

This year's dirty dozen(drum roll please) are:

1. Apples-Ranked annually as the most pesticide filled. Head to your local orchard!
2. Celery
3. Sweet bell peppers
4. Peaches
5. Strawberries6. Imported nectarines
7. Grapes
8. Spinach and Kale
9. Lettuce
10. Cucumbers
11. Domestic blueberries
12. Potatoes

So while I'm a big proponent of spending the least amount of money I need to on these the I get rid of the next day(sorry for the potty humor), these 12 items are worth the trip to the co-op or your local farm stand.

Where can you save money? On the Clean 15 which are the 15 least pesticide-ridden fruits and veggies and ones that I can shop at Market Basket for without angst.

They are:
1. Onions
2. Sweet corn
3. Pineapples
4. Avocado
5. Cabbage
6. Sweet peas
7. Asparagus
8. Mangoes
9. Eggplant
10. Kiwi11. Domestic cantaloupe
12. Sweet potatoes
13. Grapefruit14. Watermelon15. Mushrooms

In addition to shopping, these lists are something that you may want to consider when eating out. Often not knowing where restaurants source their food from, it may be wise to choose sides from the Clean Fifteen to ensure you health. Better still, save the money from going out to dinner and take a cooking course(or have your significant other take it) and start making gourmet healthy foods at home:)

Only a couple days until Oceanside 70.3!

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