the dirty dozen & the clean fifteen

an updated look at when to choose organic

we love to eat organic whenever possible. although there are many benefits & arguments to eat organic, we chose the organic lifestyle mainly due to pesticide consumption. these harmful chemicals are sprayed directly onto produce not labelled "organic". although rinsing your fruits & veggies is good practice, it cannot remove all of the harmful residue and the chemicals then become ingested. these chemicals are dangerous & cause long-term health issues, many of which are continuing to being discovered. children are particularly susceptible to pesticides simply because their tiny bodies can't handle the toxic load as they grow & develop. exposure to pesticides has shown an increased risk for:
  • asthma
  • reduced IQ
  • learning disabilities
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
  • childhood cancers, including leukemia, neuroblastoma, Wilms tumor, soft-tissue sarcoma, Ewing's sarcoma, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and cancers of the brain, colorectum, and tests
this list was more than enough to convince us to invest in the organic lifestyle. however, having said all of this, it's no secret that organic foods are usually quite expensive. i find most of our organic produce from loblaws & then we also are apart of an organic co-op called ottawa oragnics {where we get a bin of organic produce delivered to our house each week}.

but initially, i took it all in baby steps - i didn't go all organic all at once. i gradually replaced different items until we were accustomed, not only to taste & freshness, but also budget wise. in fact, there are still some foods that i buy that are not organic. i try to make sure the bulk of my kid's diet is organic, accepting that there will always be situations were i can't totally control their diet (like eating at a friends house). i chose not to stress about those situations and do what i can to eat organic the rest of the time.

that's were the dirty dozen & the clean fifteen come in handy. i started with the dirty dozen list & decided which foods would be on my absolutely-must-buy-organic list. these are the top 12 foods that are found to be the most pesticide laden. i then gave myself a grace list called the clean fifteen. that is a list of the foods that have the least amount of pesticides. these are the foods that, if necessary, i'll buy non-organic. i recently updated my lists, as they are always being updated, by reading jen's post on peas & crayons (click here for the actual article).

here is a copy of the consolidated list for those interested:
The Dirty Dozen
1. apples
2. celery
3. strawberries
4. peaches
5. spinach
6. nectarines {imported}
7. grapes {imported}
8. sweet bell peppers
9. potatoes
10. blueberries
11. lettuce
12. kale/collard greens

The Clean 15
1. onions
2. sweet corn
3. pineapples
4. avocados
5. asparagus
6. sweet peas
7. mangos
8. eggplant
9. cantaloupe {domestic}
10. kiwi
11. cabbage
12. watermelon
13. sweet potatoes
14. grapefruit
15. mushrooms

* just be warned, once you start eating things like lettuce organically, you will find it hard to go back to any other kind of produce. the taste is so tasty! so fresh! in our weekly organic pail we get lettuce that still has the roots intact, and it is like picking it fresh from your garden... yummmo! never thought i'd ever say that about boring old lettuce!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the shoutout love! Glad we're all up to date on the list now! I was so stoked to notice cherries were off the dirty dozen... totally what I will be snacking on today! They are so impossible to find organic here! eep!

    Happy Tuesday doll! mwah!