Sunday, November 20, 2011

Organic VS. Nonorganic Produce: The Dirty Dozen VS. The Clean Dozen

Aahhh, the holiday season is upon us...Thanksgiving dinner with all the fixins.  The cornucopia of colorful fruits & vegetables, berries, grapes & nuts will soon adorn our tables throughout our homes.

While out shopping for Nature's bounty to pleasingly share with our families and friends, how many of us realize the tremendous toxic burden we carry inside our own bodies and pass on to others if we are not careful about what foods we choose to buy?  Organic or Non-organic.  What is all the fuss?  It is really worth the money to shop organically? 

On the heels of yet another peanut butter salmonella story, I am feeling compelled to share what I have learned with you today as I sit here quietly reading from a wonderful book by Dr. Walter Crinnion called "Clean, Green & Lean".

My hope is that this holiday season, our families will enjoy a much less toxic load of unseen chemicals, just by following a few simple steps.

Pesticide residues in produce are very difficult to remove from certain foods, therefore, it is recommended that the following foods (the "Dirty Dozen") be purchased ONLY in organic versions.  Print off this list and take it with you to the grocery store to help you remember.

The Dirty Dozen (highest in pesticides)
Apples, Bell Peppers, Carrots, Celery, Cherries, Grapes (imported), Kale, Lettuce, Nectarines, Peaches, Pears, Strawberries

If you cannot find organic, the nonorganic varieties can sometimes be made less toxic by peeling them (great for apples & potatoes but not so for lettuce & strawberries).  Their toxic content can be further reduced by soaking & scrubbing them in an acid wash of 10 percent vinegar (also not so good for lettuce & strawberries).

Detoxing Nonorganic Produce
Use a vegetable peeler to remove the skin from commercial varieties of apples, pears, nectarines, & potatoes. You may need a paring knife to peel peaches.

For bell peppers, apples & celery, use an acid wash:
Fill a large bowl with water. Add a cup of distilled vinegar. Let produce soak for 10-20 minutes.
Use a vegetable scrub brush to scrub each piece for about sixty seconds.
For grapes & cherries, just let them soak for about 60 minutes.

Not all nonorganic versions of fruits & vegetables contain toxic chemicals.  The following twelve have virtually no pesticide levels, however if your budget allows, the nutrient content is much higher in organic versions.

The Clean Dozen (lowest in pesticides)
Asparagus, Avocados, Cabbage, Eggplant, Kiwis, Mangoes, Onions, Papayas, Pineapples, Sweet Corn, Sweet Peas, Watermelon

While it would be best for us to purchase organic varieties of all of our foods, many stores do not offer a variety of choices and we must rely on local farmer's markets or local organic co-ops to purchase our organic foods.  Knowing the difference between the Dirty Dozen VS. the Clean Dozen will help us make better food choices.

It should be somewhat comforting to know that when we need to be selective of which ones we MUST choose organic, we can put our money to good use to buy organic apples instead of spending it on organic broccoli or bananas.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and may the spirit of the season fill our hearts with gratitude.

No comments:

Post a Comment