Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Avoiding The Dirty Dozen

I am a foodie...I admit it.
There are a few things in this world that I am quite passionate about...

not counting the people and animals that I love, food and farming top the list.

Years ago I did a lot of reading about food and industrial farming.
As a result of what I learned, we changed our eating habits...drastically.

For 6+ months of the year, we eat what we grow.
For the other 6 months, we eat what we freeze and preserve...
supplemented by fresh produce that is certified organic.

Our meat is local.
Our milk is local.
Our eggs, our own.
We eat no processed food, we eat no processed meat.

I'll admit it is more expensive,
but to me it is worth it.

This is the way I see it...
There is nothing more important to us than our health.
And yet...we don't make the food that nourishes our bodies to maintain that health a priority.

We buy smart phones, nice cars, nice clothes and so many other "things" that really don't matter.
We waste our grocery money on empty calories... sodas, junk foods, etc.
And yet, we balk at spending extra to buy "safe" nutritious food.

I know I am preaching to the choir.
But still, if I can educate just one person...
this little rant is well worth the effort.

Environmental Working Group just released its 2014 list of the "Dirty Dozen Plus"...
its list of the most heavily pesticide laden produce...
produce we should avoid unless we can buy organic...or better yet, grow our own.

1. Apples
2. Strawberries
3. Grapes
4. Celery
5. Peaches
6. Spinach
7. Sweet Bell Peppers
8. Nectarines (Imported)
9. Cucumbers
10. Cherry Tomatoes
11. Snap Peas (Imported)
12. Potatoes
+ Hot Peppers
+ Kale/Collard Greens

 Gone are the days when we can say "An apple a day keeps the doctor away."
That is, unless that apple is organic or homegrown.
Yes, those beautiful red, juicy apples in the produce aisle are the number one
most pesticide filled food we can eat!
They are beautiful...and that is where it ends.

Take a look at organic apples....much smaller, not so pretty...
but oh, so healthy!

If you have a few extra feet of yard space, consider planting a apple tree,
or planting a small garden.
There is nothing more gratifying than picking produce that you have grown yourself!

We could also talk about what all of this pesticide use is doing to our honeybees...

but that's another subject.

On a brighter note, here are the "Clean Fifteen"...
produce that is relatively pesticide free:

1. Avocados
2. Sweet Corn
3. Pineapples
4. Cabbage
5. Sweet Peas (Frozen)
6. Onions
7. Asparagus
8. Mangoes
9. Papayas
10. Kiwi
11. Eggplant
12. Grapefruit
13. Cantaloupe
14. Cauliflower
15. Sweet Potatoes

So.....what's for dinner?


  1. My husband and I just bought 10 raw acres that we are cultivating and shaping. Our ultimate goal is sustainability. The food you buy these days in a store is not fresh, not natural, and not tasty. Even meat doesn't taste like meat any more.
    I believe that getting back to the basics is important, and as I approach middle age it is even more so.

  2. It's truly a shame what is considered 'food' these days and that our government has allowed it to get to this point. After Hubby's heart attack and emergency bypass surgery I started reading up on food, nutrition and the healing properties of real food. What an eye opener! My strategy at the supermarket, shop the outer aisles, buy organic and minimally processed when possible and if I can't pronounce it we don't eat or drink it. I would love to buy local but since we travel from job to job (and I have no vehicle) that option is out. We long for the day (hopefully in two to three years) when we can buy a farm and start being self sufficient. (Which is why we are on the road... Working in a demanding but well paying industry and saving every penny towards our dream!) :-) I believe we truly are what we eat.

  3. I couldn't agree with you more. We hope to be able to produce at least most of our own food when we relocate. It always tastes better when you grow it yourself. We love our homegrown pineapple and it tastes nothing like what you find in a can.

  4. Thanks for posting the "clean fifteen" it's very helpful.

  5. Have abandoned growing anything but tomatoes in my very small green house with 2 acres it is impossible to control the wandering pests!!!. The wood chucks, deer, squirrels have just destroyed everything I have tried to grow, as for flowers this year I have taken all of them down as I was left with stalks, will just grow roses instead it seems the only thing that resist the pest well not all but the the ones with vicious thorns. The only flowers that survive are the ones in planters around the pool as it is all fenced in. I Just buy my food at "Whole foods" as we rarely have markets around here.

    Annie v.

  6. Good post. Thanks for all the info. I'm kind of 50-50 on the food list. Love cantaloupe grapes and peaches. Pineapple is good too. I was just thinking this morning about planting a peach tree outback. All groceries are expensive these days. When you go out to eat at a restaurant, you get what you get. You are very fortunate to have everything available to you. I know you have worked really hard to make that possible. Great job!

  7. When can I move in????
    Queen Marcy

  8. We changed too, our motto is "eat less, eat better*, eat local".

    *When we say better, we mean minimally processed and pesticide free (if possible).

  9. Over here in Canada even so called Organic has been questioned that it really is organic ! We are lucky to live in a heavy populated farming area that we get all our foods from local farmers that we have known for years at our local farmers market . I have always known that growing your own food is the best and we are slowly getting back to that here ! Thanks for sharing , wonderful photos , Have a good day !

  10. Please pass the sweet peas. This is very imformative and I appreciate this information. I intend to use this information in my decision making.

  11. Hi Beverly,
    Thank you so much for coming over to meet Olivia and your kind comment.. So happy you enjoyed her.

    Great post! I use to grow my own vegies years ago, and I think for those who can, should... Nothing tastes better than home grown, that is for sure..

  12. I am a senior and live in senior housing--they do have a garden here--but--it is right beside a train track and within 300 ft of our sewer treatment plant==so I will not eat anything from it!!!
    Every month I do order organic canned applesauce on the internet form iherbs company--and I get it within 2 days and no shipping cost--I love my applesauce!!--I try to only buy organic but at times it is hard to do here--
    but I am working on it and on learning to eat less meat--now there is a hard one--though I don't eat beef or pork--I do eat alot of chicken and fish--but those can be bad also--but I try!!
    I do not drink soda or such and eat very very little junk food--somehow once in awhile a potato chip or two will find there way into my mouth -- I do not do sweets, that is except for my daily 'allowance' of dark chocolate!!!
    thanks for the encouragement though to keep trying--I do get discouraged at times when I see everyone around me eating what ever they want and when they want!
    hugs, di and miss gracie

    1. Good for you, Di! I know it is hard to find organic...depending upon where you live and what is available. Most importantly, I think it is just important that we are aware of what we put into our bodies. So much of what is called "food" these days is chemically engineered in a laboratory... I am an advocate for whole foods...eating things that are or were alive with a minimum of ingredients. And as for that dark chocolate....I think that chocolate is its own food group and there is definitely a minimum daily requirement for that!! Enjoy!!

  13. The eye opener for me was my two mile walk the dog every morning. I go past farm fields, one of them corn. The corn starts growing, for two days it smells like something died (they've sprayed said corn). A week later everything in the field dies, except the corn! Now, you intend to feed said corn to your cattle and you expect me to eat that meat or drink that milk? I think not!


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