Sorry, I’m not really coming clean here and confessing anything. At least not in this post! In my last post, I wrote about the Dirty Dozen. This is a list created by the Environmental Working Group of the types of produce most likely to be contaminated by pesticides. I find this helpful to prioritize which foods I should be buying organic. Bottom line…leafy greens and items where you eat the skin, or those which have thin skins, are most likely to be contaminated.
The EWG also produces a list called the Clean Fifteen. The name is not as much fun, but it’s still worth discussing. These are the fruits and vegetables that have the lowest levels of pesticide levels, meaning it is less important to buy organic varieties.
Here’s the most recent list: Avocados, sweet corn, pineapples, cabbage, frozen sweet peas, onions, asparagus, mangoes, papaya, kiwi, eggplant, grapefruit, cantaloupe, cauliflower, and sweet potatoes. So I can feel pretty good about the non-organic cabbage and sweet potato that I just ate for dinner (along with pastured chicken). Notice many of those items have thick skins that you do not eat (avocado and pineapple in particular).
I have a few issues with this list. First of all, many papayas and sweet corn are grown from genetically modified seed. I choose to avoid GMOs. I’m not going to get up on a soapbox here and scare you. I want this blog to be a happy, positive place. So I’m just going to say that I don’t believe that genetically modified foods are safe, or the answer to the world’s hunger problems. Feel free to read up on this topic and decide for yourself. If you are eating any processed food that is not organic, you are most likely consuming GMO’s. Just something to be aware of.
So my other issue with the list is this…in many cases, organic just tastes better. Definitely in the case of sweet potatoes (and white potatoes) there is a noticeable difference. And organic farms are safer places for people to work, since they are not exposed to pesticides.
If you want to feel happy, healthy and hot, you should be eating your vegetables. They are full of antioxidants and phytonutrients that are wonderful for your skin. Use the Clean Fifteen and Dirty Dozen to help you out, but don’t make yourself crazy. I try to buy organic whenever possible, but I don’t sweat it when I can’t. And if you need ideas of easy ways to incorporate them, read The lazy girl’s guide to veggies.