Getting clear on all things pesticide related, how to shop organic on a budget, the Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen list.
Eating organic is a highly debated and controversial topic. Many people think organic food is a scam, it's not worth the hype and a big marketing ploy. Initially, this can perhaps make sense. I mean, do you REALLY need organic almond milk and beans? Well, it's up to you. But in this post I'm going to give you ways to eat organic on a budget, and reasons why it's important. Then you can make up your mind from there.
Organic vs. Conventional
When you hear things in the media or online about how eating organic food is a scam, think about where that information is coming from. Your friend? Where did they get it from? Something you read online? Where did that information come from? I highly encourage you to do your own research on things you think are important to you, especially in regards to your health.
If you research the articles that all state eating organic is a scam, you will notice that the information is usually coming from CHEMICAL corporations like Monsanto, Bayer, Dow, Dupont and Syngenta. Let me say it louder for the people in the back: These five giant corporations are NOT food companies, they produce chemicals. Read the history of Monsanto here. They were directly involved in the production of Agent Orange during the Vietnam war.
Why are chemical companies controlling our food? Good business! If we all started eating organic, corporation giants like these would be put out of business. Additionally, we'd be much healthier, so big Pharma wouldn't have half as many of us relying on pharmaceuticals for health. This information may be polarizing to some, but I'd be doing you a disservice to say otherwise.
One of the most important reasons to eat organic is because you are eating food with less pesticides. Pesticides is not just found in our fruits and vegetables. It's in our bread, cereal, canned goods and more. The more you eat organic, the less exposure you have to GMOs and toxic chemicals like Roundup.
Let's talk about Roundup for a second. Roundup's active ingredient is called Glyphosate. This is a chemical originally patented to clean pipes, Until Monsanto bought it and patented it as a herbicide. This chemical pipe cleaner is sprayed on corn, soybeans, wheat, sugar cane, potatoes and more. These five things are found in most of our conventional food! If you don't believe me, look at the ingredient labels on literally anything in the store. You will find some version of corn syrup, soybean oil, sugar or wheat in anything from soy sauce to spaghetti marinara to crackers to cereal to ice cream.
Roundup is linked to a host of chronic diseases, but some of the main ones are:
Food Allergies Depression or anxiety Weight Gain Chronic Pain Migraine or Brain Fog Fibromyalgia Digestive problems Skin rashes Fatigue
If any of the above issues sound familiar to you or anyone you know, it's very possible that this is a result of too much exposure to herbicides and pesticides. But don't worry, just by changing the way you eat can have a huge impact on your health!
Why eat organic?
I'm going to glaze over the whole "eat healthy" thing and assume that we all agree it's important to eat healthy. Eating organic, however, differs individually.
The biggest reason people shy away from organic food is because of the cost factor. This a great excuse, I've even used it myself in the past! However, the more I learned about health in the last decade, the more I firmly believe in not sacrificing my long term health in return for short term money savings.
The way I look at it, I would rather pay a little extra for my health now by eating as organic and clean and possible, rather than a lot more for my health later, in the form of pills, chronic disease, surgery and supplements to fix my weakened body.
According to the Mayo Clinic, organic food is found to be safer and more nutritious. It contains more nutrients, omega 3 fatty acids, less toxic metals, pesticide residue and bacterial contamination. Evidence continues to grow that organic food is far superior to conventional.
Of course, I understand that it's not always possible to eat everything organic, and have access to a local farmer's market, etc. Which is why I am providing you with some easy shopping tips now, to assist you in making better food choices for the future!
Dirty Dozen, Clean 15
The Dirty Dozen and the Clean 15 is a list of the top 12 most contaminated produce, and the top 15 cleanest produce. This list is updated yearly by the Environmental Working Group, and a current list for 2019 can be found at this link.
For your convenience below are the two lists:
Dirty Dozen 2019
Clean 15 2019:
2. Sweet corn
4. Frozen sweet peas
15. Honeydew melons An easy way to shop organic, is to simply follow the above lists. Buy organic for anything on the Dirty Dozen list, and shop conventional for the the Clean 15. For everything else in between, follow this easy rule:
Buy conventional if you are cooking the produce or it has a thick peel. Buy organic if you are eating raw or with a thin peel.
For example, if you are buying cucumbers or carrots, get them organic. Both have a very thin peel, meaning pesticides easily be absorbed through the thin skin. If you are buying something like butternut or acorn squash, get it conventional. You are most likely not eating the peel, and the inside is well protected from pesticide exposure on the outside.
If you follow these easy guidelines, it will make choosing organic produce much easier for you, and your body will thank you for it!
Stay tuned for my next blog post, where I will provide you with a healthy food budget shopping list, along with meals and recipes for you and your family! For now though, please enjoy the above easy tips on clean eating for your health.
Until next time!