We had a great time at Mingle with the Eat Well for Less Class recently. Participants liked learning new skills to make dinner easier, adding more variety to their meals while not wasting time or ingredients.
During the class I was making the comparison between conventional and organic produce and while buying 100% of your items organic is not always possible there are definitely some fruits and vegetables that are dirtier and more contaminated than others. Several attendees at the class where unaware that not all produce is created equal so I thought I would help and post links to Environment Working Group research site. The EWG is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to protecting human health and the environment. This groups mission is to empower people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. They provide breakthrough research and education that drives consumer choice and civic action.
Each year the EWG test a variety of different produce and compile the data to create the Shopper’s Guide To Pesticides in Produce and two guideline lists including the “Dirty Dozen” a list of 12 of the most commonly and highly contaminated fruits and vegetables, items you should buy organic and “The Clean 15” a list of the most commonly clean produce that is most likely fine to buy conventional. You can read more and get links to download your free shopping guides here.
In general whenever possible it is always best to buy organic produce not only to reduce your intake of unnecessary chemicals but to support ethical and sustainable farming practices. Money talks and using you dollars to support organic farming methods also support environmentally friendly practices that help create sustainable agriculture keeping our land, water and wildlife protected for years to come. By taking care of yourself you are also helping to take care of the earth for generations to come.
FDA acknowledges that most pesticides are safe to consume, and the EPA argues the levels of pesticides found in fresh produce are safe to eat. They also warn that others have been linked to various health issues and neurological problems. So, who’s right? What do we do? By all means don’t stop eating produce or the items found on the Dirty Dozen List. You may just want to be more conscious about the everyday food choices you are making. The EWG recommends that you purchase the organic versions of the items found on the Dirty Dozen List and of course always thoroughly wash all produce before consuming it. In the end the choice is yours and with most things in life each choice we make has it’s own potential risks and rewards.
To learn more visit The Environmental Working Group Site