Don’t Panic … It's NOT Organic!!

Once I got pregnant with Brooks I became hyper aware of my surroundings and everything I ate. Not just eating healthy in general, but also a deeper concern of how my fruits and vegetables were grown. You can easily become over the top and obsessive, let me tell you!

The quick solution is to reach for organic products. However, that is incredibly expensive. For most, that is not even a reality they can afford. It is a global issue we as a society need to address, because everyone deserves access to food that is not laden with pesticides. In earnest, I want to be part of that solution, but how do we feed our children and ourselves TODAY?

We talked about how to green your household on Monday and today I want to initiate the conversation about what we eat. It is so hard to navigate the grocery aisles trying to figure out what we should purchase organic and what is good to buy conventionally grown. I feel like we hear old wives’ tales, myths, rumors and conspiracy theories about what you should purchase organic and how we as consumers are lied to about specific products.

Enter the Environmental Working Group to shed some light on the subject. Who is the EWG?? In a nutshell the EWG provides great and incredibly informative consumer guides about the products we use every day. Their mission statement sums it up perfectly. “Environmental Working Group empowers people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. We drive consumer choice and civic action with breakthrough research and an informed public.”

The Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen

The dirty dozen… Doesn’t that sound like a title of a Clint Eastwood movie? Jokes aside, I have to say I’m really thankful for the EWG’s listing of what fruits and vegetable we should buy organic versus conventionally grown. I talked a bit about this in my post about apples. The EWG provides a good food on a tight budget-shopping guide which I think is important because it is so easy to tell you what you can and cannot eat, but showing you how to get it done is a huge part of the battle.

The MOST important take away is that the health benefits of eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables outweighs the risk of pesticide exposure. My hope for the future is that we can grow the clean list and obliterate the dirty dozen. For now, as consumers we have to make the best choices we can for our families and ourselves. Take a look at the EWG’s list below. It has definitely changed how I shop. I have this list printed and carry it in my purse! I tell everyone I know to do the same.

The Clean 15

  • Avocados
  • Sweet Corn
  • Pineapple
  • Cabbage
  • Sweet Peas (frozen)
  • Onions
  • Asparagus
  • Mangos
  • Papayas
  • Kiwi
  • Eggplant
  • Grapefruit
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cauliflower
  • Sweet Potatoes

The Dirty Dozen

  • Apples
  • Strawberries
  • Grapes
  • Celery
  • Peaches
  • Spinach
  • Sweet Bell Peppers
  • Nectarines (imported)
  • Cucumbers
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Snap Peas (imported)
  • Potatoes
  • Hot Peppers
  • Kale/Collard Greens

Actress, model, active humanitarian, & Mom! Author of 'Everyday Chic'.