Organic -vs- Conventional Farming, how to choose. 

The “Dirty Dozen & Clean 15” of Buying Produce

I was fortunate enough to escape to Santa Cruz, CA last weekend, just as the polar vortex relapsed in Minnesota. Since California is responsible for nearly 50% of all fruits, vegetables and nuts produced in the U.S., it’s easy to score produce via the numerous farmers markets and roadside stands.

Improving access to fresh, organic produce is huge goal of First Lady Michelle Obama in her “Let’s Move!” initiative. Regardless of which side of the aisle you stand, I hope we can all agree that improving American’s access to fresh produce would immensely help curb obesity, disease and overall health care costs.

Access is one thing; cost is another. I still struggle at times with paying the extra price for organic produce, despite knowing the additional health benefits.

When I grocery shop, which I love to do, I’ll often times bring along my handy chart called the “Dirty Dozen and the Clean 15".

The Dirty Dozen portion of the chart is a list of produce items most heavily sprayed with pesticides and insecticides, therefore ideally purchased organically.

On the flip side, the Clean 15 lists fifteen different types of produce which are naturally resistant to insect infestation, so they do not need to be treated with chemicals. Therefore you can get away with purchasing them from conventional farming methods, saving you a few bucks!

Next week I will dive into how to effectively read nutrition labels and what All Natural really means.

Happy shopping friends!

“Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon.” -Doug Larson

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