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    How to prioritize your organic grocery shopping

    The Environmental Working Group (EWG) recently released the 2021 Dirty Dozen & Clean Fifteen lists. They are, no doubt, the best and most unbiased guides to prioritize your organic grocery shopping in the U.S. Love them!

    The Dirty Dozen lists the fruits and vegetables containing the highest levels of pesticides.  The Clean Fifteen, the ones with the least amount in them. Every year I share them with you so let’s go through what’s new in 2021 and how to be smart about your grocery shopping choices.

    How important is organic grocery shopping and why?

    Almost 70% of fresh produce in the U.S. contains harmful pesticides, big enough reason to consider organic shopping organic. This year, the EWG also released a special report on citrus fruits because of the increasing concentration of harmful fungicides in them, especially tangerines. 

    Organic grocery shopping can get quite pricey though and the value to cost ratio doesn’t always work. The EWG lists will help you prioritize and make smarter and healthier choices without breaking the bank. Here are the lists and let’s start with the Dirty Dozen!

    EWG’s Dirty Dozen for 2021

    1. Strawberries
    2. Spinach
    3. Kale, collard, and mustard greens
    4. Nectarines
    5. Apples
    6. Grapes
    7. Cherries
    8. Peaches
    9. Pears
    10. Bell and hot peppers
    11. Celery
    12. Tomatoes

    What’s new in the Dirty Dozen list this year?

    Collard and mustard greens joined kale in the top 3. Leafy greens as a group contained more than 90 different kinds of pesticides

    Bell peppers and hot peppers made the top 10 this year. 115 different pesticides were traced back to peppers, which the EWG notes as the highest amount of any item on their list. One, in particular, organophosphate insecticide, is well known for impacting children’s cognitive development and has been largely banned overseas

    On average, spinach had 1.8 times as much pesticide residue by weight as any other crop tested

    Fresh items that are most contaminated, such as spinach and strawberries, still have high levels of pesticides in their frozen forms.  Frozen produce is often preserved at its peak nutritional value and can be sometimes a better choice than non-organic fresh produce. However, when it comes to “the dirtiest foods of them all” better to buy organic

    EWG’s Clean Fifteen for 2021

    1. Avocados
    2. Sweet corn
    3. Pineapple
    4. Onions
    5. Papaya
    6. Sweet peas (frozen)
    7. Eggplant
    8. Asparagus
    9. Broccoli
    10. Cabbage
    11. Kiwi
    12. Cauliflower
    13. Mushrooms
    14. Honeydew melon
    15. Cantaloupes

    The bottom line

    Be smart and seek quality when doing your organic grocery shopping

    If you cannot get the organic produce you want, remember – and I’m quoting the EWG here – “Eating conventionally grown produce is far better than skipping fruits and vegetables.” 

    If you don’t have access to fresh produce today, you can also make healthy choices when buying packaged foods. READ: FOOD LABELS AND HEALTHY CHOICES MADE SIMPLE

    Would you like help in making even healthier food choices for you and your family?

    Book a free 30-minute Discovery consultation and work with me to get your strategy aligned with your goals.

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