Many Olympia moms associate “organic” with more “expensive.” Local grocery stores are certainly offering a wider variety of organic foods, but the price tags are often noticeably higher than their non-organic counterparts. Here is a tip for those who know the benefits of organic foods but don’t think they can afford them -You don’t have to buy all organic foods to drastically cut down on the chemicals, pesticides and toxins that you and your family are eating. A few simple changes can make a big difference!
In recent years, The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has said a person can lower his pesticide consumption by nearly four-fifths by simply avoiding the 12 most contaminated vegetables and fruits (The Dirty Dozen List) and eating the least contaminated produce instead (The Clean Fifteen). Let me explain. The EWG stated that if a person ate five servings of fruits and vegetables per day from the Dirty Dozen list, he would be consuming on average ten pesticides a day. In comparison, if produce is chosen from the Clean Fifteen list, less than 2 pesticides would be consumed per day. That is a big difference!
The Environmental Working Group publishes a new Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides annually. Here is the most recent information released just today:
The Dirty Dozen Plus: (Buy These Organic)
*Most contaminated by pesticides is at the top of the list.
- Cherry tomatoes
- Hot peppers
- Nectarines – imported
- Sweet bell peppers
- Kale/Collard greens
- Summer squash
The Clean 15: (Lowest in Pesticides)
- Sweet peas – frozen
- Sweet potatoes
The EWG recommends eating organic produce whenever possible, but if that is not a viable option for your family due to availability or affordability it suggests you avoid the Dirty Dozen and choose fruits and veggies from the Clean Fifteen list. Keep in mind, the EWG does state they encourage people to eat fruits and vegetables (even those that are conventionally grown and on the Dirty Dozen) over more processed snack foods.
So, there you have it. I challenge Olympia moms to make some adjustments to your grocery lists, even if it means just one small change. Armed with the right knowledge you will better be able to shop and cook for yourself and your family in a way that is both healthy and fits your budget.