Costs of Eating Healthy: Eating Organic Part 1

No great athlete or beloved dignitary ever advanced his or her goals without hard work and initial sacrifices.  Adopting any other philosophy when pursuing health is counter productive.  Today’s society often pushes individuals to place health on layaway and to maintenance the body later.  The only issue with this mentality is that we are only given one body for the entirety of our lives.  Our goal for our health should be to possess the ability to live life fully and productively during the time we have.  

Eating organic is one way to maintenance the body so it may replenish its system without damage.  In the paragraphs and posts that follow you will find basic information about organic foods along with thrifty spending tips.  Remember, once an initial change is made the task of repeating that challenged becomes increasingly simpler.   The hardest part of restructuring the diet is getting started because it is the most time consuming.  LET’S GET TO IT!

What is organic?  I found this definition by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Organic Program (NOP):

“Organic food is produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations.  Organic meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products come from animals that are given no antibiotics or growth hormones.  Organic food is produced without using most conventional pesticides; fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge; bioengineering; or ionizing radiation.  Before a product can be labeled ‘organic,’ a Government-approved certifier inspects the farm where the food is grown to make sure the farmer is following all the rules necessary to meet USDA organic standards.  Companies that handle or process organic food before it gets to your local supermarket or restaurant must be certified, too.” (USDA, http://www.nal.usda.gov/afsic/pubs/ofp/ofp.shtml)

Which foods MUST be consumed organically?  Meet the Dirty Dozen and the Clean Fifteen.  The United States Department of Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration researched amounts pesticide debris within the fruits and vegetables we eat.  (EWG, http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary/)  These foods have been ranked the from those consider dirtiest to clean.  In other words, the Dirty Dozen are twelve foods we should not eat unless they have been organically grown.  The Clean Fifteen are fifteen fruits and vegetables that are least disturbed by pesticides.  (EWG)

Here you go:

Dirty Dozen– Apples, Celery, Sweet Bell Peppers, Peaches, Strawberries, Nectarines, Grapes, Spinach, Lettuce, Cucumbers, Blueberries, and Potatoes

Clean Fifteen– Onions, Sweet Corn, Pineapples, Avocado, Cabbage, Sweat Peas, Kiwi, Cantaloupe, Sweet Potatoes, Grapefruits, Watermelon, and Mushrooms

The following link is a full list of the foods tested:  http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/list/ This link offers a more in depth read about pesticides and organics:  http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/press/

Challenge of the Week:  Place a list of the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen in your purse or wallet.  You may rather take a picture of the list with your cell phone.   Begin to fill your shopping cart with items that will sustain your long term health.  Small steps climb mountains.  

Lot’s to come,

Tawnie Goodwin

Sources: USDA, NOP, and EWG

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