Organic Produce and the Dirty Dozen
Debi Silber, The Mojo Coach on
One of the greatest differences in organic fruits and vegetables lies in how the food is grown, handled and processed. Because organic foods aren’t treated with preservatives and waxes, you may find that organic fruits and vegetables spoil more quickly than non-organic varieties. Organic fruits and vegetables also aren’t sprayed with herbicides and pesticides, which leave a residue on the food - something many people want to reduce their exposure to whenever possible. Organic farming methods are also designed to conserve water and soil while reducing pollution, making organic foods more environmentally friendly. There is a price for these farming practices however. While these methods encourage the growth of fruits and vegetables free from herbicides and pesticides, it often means that the farming method is more labor intensive, increasing the price of the food. If you’re interested in shopping organic and there’s a limited supply at your local supermarket, you can look for local farmers' markets, organic foods and community supported agriculture near you. Check out this link to find out what’s being grown and harvested in your surrounding area. Here are some tips if you don’t buy organic. Rinse, gently scrub or peel the fruit or vegetable to reduce the amount of residue that may have accumulated on the skin. You may lose some nutrients this way, however, because many fruits and vegetables contain valuable nutrients in the skin. If choosing only a few organic options, these choices - known as "The Dirty Dozen” - are the ones to splurge on:
- sweet bell peppers
- imported nectarines
- domestic blueberries
- green beans
- kale & collard greens
- sweet corn*
- sweet peas
- domestic cantaloupe
- sweet potatoes
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