Monday, July 25, 2016

Updated Dirty Dozen and Clean 15!

As a fitness professional, it’s only natural that I get questions about nutrition from time to time. Specifically, people want to know what I’m eating and if it’s all organic. 

My answer: Sometimes. Eating all organic isn’t always realistic – or necessary. In addition, options and availability can be limited and pricing abnormally high.

In my experience, people generally buy organic produce for 1 of 2 reasons:
1) to avoid pesticides and other toxins (exposure to which is
often overstated)
2) to support local family farming (note: local does not always mean organic)

But no matter what reasons people have for “going organic” cost is what I most often hear talk about. It doesn't always stop people, but it often comes up as a burden - or sometimes a barrier for those who haven't made the switch yet.

The good news is that you can save money by buying some items that are grown conventionally.

Some fruits and vegetable absorb pesticides at a higher rate than others, so it would make sense to buy those items organic when you can. The Environmental Working Group has compiled the “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean 15” lists for you to print and take to the store or farmer’s market. 

The full, 48 item list can be found in The EWG Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™. 

Remember: fresh fruits and vegetables are never a bad choice, regardless.

Other ways to save money on produce:

1. Buy frozen. Flash frozen at the peak of freshness, the fruits and veggies in the freezer section are not only less expensive - they taste amazing.

2. Purchase the store brand (this also applies to dried goods). Often, the store-branded items are manufactured in the same facilities as the name brand. They are just label and packaged differently.

3. Buy in season. If frozen isn’t your style, try buying in season. Just because the name is weird or you don’t have experience cooking an item doesn’t mean it can’t be great! There are so many resources for good recipes these days you really have no excuse not to push yourself outside of your comfort zone when it comes to foods.

4. Participate in a Community Share Agreement. These normally come with a seasonal fee, but in my experience there is plenty leftover each week for freezing or canning the items to use in the winter months, cutting down on grocery bills later in the year.

5. Shop around. Organic strawberries at Whole Foods may be more expensive than the same item at Sam’s Club, look at the local flyers or check online for sales ads and coupons before you head out for the day.

If you are one of those people who are asking me what I eat and how I fit it in, you might want to try my FREE 10-day Diet & Exercise program starting in September. Email me to find out more. 

Top Posts