We all want to buy the very best foods to feed our families. Easier said than done, right?
The food industry has made it very difficult to know what is actually in our foods! It is so overwhelming to make sense of the ingredients list and what those ingredients really are. The bigger dilemma is how will that long list of ingredients affect our body when consumed on a regular basis?
We do not need any additional stress, yet if you are like me, the more I know the more stressful it can become. Here are just a few things I found helpful to bring the best to my family!
Buy from the outer area of the store – The middle isles are mostly stocked with processed (in a box) foods. You want to go with fresh and/or frozen whole foods as much as possible.
Look for organic and at minimum non-GMO. Even when you are in the produce area you need to buy non-GMO. Especially, potatoes and corn.
Buy fresh organic herbs! Most bottled have salts and preservatives added – this can lead to inflammation in the body. Most herbs will freeze well if you aren’t able to use them right away. Start adding them to every meal. There are so many nutrients that we miss out on when not using fresh herbs.
Make a list of foods you need for the week – Plan your meals! This saves a lot of money in wasted food and valuable time. This also keeps you from going out to eat.
Eat meals you have prepared as much as possible. This way you know what and how much is in your food – no surprises. So even if you make a sugary dessert you can reduce the sugar or control the type of flour you use.
Buy healthy oils to use in cooking and dressings. The oils used in most, if not all, store-bought salad dressings/marinades are made with inflammatory oils. Use high-quality olive oil for dressing, use organic coconut oil or grass-fed ghee for cooking.
Buy grass-fed/grass-finished red meats! So many of the meats available are filled with hormones –remember what they eat you eat!
Buy hormone free – pasture-raised poultry – including eggs! If you have a farmers market go there!
Reduce starchy vegetables and eliminate useless carbs. Our food pyramid is upside down – we eat way too many breads and grains. When eating grains – buy gluten-free ancient grains. They are healthy for you and shouldn’t cause as much stress on your gut.
Finally, add in more fresh greens – add them to smoothies, juice them eat raw as much as possible, and when cooking lightly steam.
I know initially, this may be a bit overwhelming and seem expensive – but think about the long term – Your body will thank you.
Below, is a list of foods to always buy organic – and ones that are considered clean. These are known as the Dirty/Clean 15.
I really hope you will use these tips even if you can only commit to a few – let those become habits. Happy and Healthy Eating!
The 2020 Dirty Dozen List and Clean 15 List
EWG’s Dirty Dozen
Bonus: Hot Peppers
EWG’s Clean 15
The Clean 15 list includes produce that is least likely to be contaminated by pesticides. Here are some highlights from the Clean 15 list:
Avocados and sweet corn were the cleanest tested, with fewer than 2 percent of samples showing any detectable pesticides.
More than 80 percent of pineapples, papayas, asparagus, onions, and cabbages contained no pesticide residues.
None of the fruit on the Clean Fifteen list tested positive for more than four pesticides.
Important: Some papayas, sweet corn, and summer squash in the United State are grown from GMO seeds, so in my opinion, it’s best to always choose organic in those cases.
Here’s the 2020 Clean 15 List:
Frozen Sweet Peas
* Note: Some sweet corn, papaya, and summer squash sold in the United States are GMOs, so choose organic to avoid GMOs.
Key Findings of the 2020 Report
The United States Department of Agriculture tests found 230 different pesticides and pesticide breakdown products on thousands of produce samples analyzed.
Washing and peeling produce will not remove all pesticide residues. Data for this report comes from USDA and FDA pesticide residue testing from fruits and vegetables tested as they are typically eaten. “This means it’s washed and, when applicable, peeled,” explains Alexis Temkin, Ph.D., co-author of the report. “For example, bananas are peeled before testing, and blueberries and peaches are washed.”
Environmental Working group analyzed USDA pesticide residue data and found that almost 70 percent of non-organic produce sampled tested positive for pesticide contamination.
More than 90 percent of samples of strawberries, apples, cherries, spinach, nectarines, and kale tested positive for residues of two or more pesticides.
Kale samples detected 18 different pesticides.
On average, kale and spinach samples harbored 1.1 to 1.8 times as much pesticide residue by weight than any other crop tested.
Neonicotinoids pesticide residues, known for harming pollinators, were detected in/on almost one-fifth of fruits and vegetables humans eat and may harm the developing fetus and children.
Residues of at least one of three neonicotinoid pesticides banned in the European Union – imidacloprid, clothianidin, and thiamethoxam – were found on more than half the samples of potatoes, spinach, and lettuce tested in the United States.
Neonicotinoid contamination was also found on more than one-fourth of the samples of U.S. cherries, watermelon, and strawberries.