What is the dirty dozen & clean fifteen?
The dirty dozen and the clean 15 refer to the fruits and vegetables that are the most and least contaminated by pesticide use, according to the Environmental Working Group. Paying attention to which foods we buy organic is important because pesticides have been linked to a variety of health problems, including hormone disruption, cancer and brain toxicity. Pesticides present real health risks, particularly to children and those with health concerns. Buying organic can be expensive and can be a gradual process. Knowing which foods are important to buy organic will help minimize pesticide consumption while keeping your budget in check!
What if you can’t afford to buy organic? It’s important to remember not to avoid the foods on the dirty dozen even if you cannot buy them organic. Fresh fruits and vegetables are always a healthier choice than processed foods. Besides, non-organic processed foods are sure to contain a ton of chemicals too!
Here are a few tips on how to eat organic on a budget…
*Use coupons and download apps! Whole Food has an app that tells you what foods are on special that week and coupons. Also, check out your favorite company website for special promotions and printable coupons.
*Budget! Write out a weekly and monthly budget to help you keep track of both erratic spending and responsible spending. This will allow you to see your spending habits and help you prioritize purchasing organic food within your budget.
*Do it yourself, rather than buy it. Make your own organic granola bars, kale chips, smoothies, and juices instead of purchasing them to save money.
*Shop the frozen isle! Organic frozen produce at the store is cheaper than fresh, especially if the fruit or vegetable is out of season.
*Make the right choices…Meat and dairy (animals products like chicken, eggs, cheese, butter, yogurt, milk) are the most important to buy organic because of the combined risk of pesticide, anti-biotic and cancer causing growth hormone exposure. Really try to buy these products organic.
*Only buy organic fruits and veggies from the Dirty Dozen list. For example, if you have a choice between more expensive organic red peppers and less expensive conventional asparagus, choose the asparagus.
The Dirty Dozen (in order of contamination)
Sweet bell peppers
The Clean 15 (in order of least contamination)