Organic produce can be just as important for your health as macronutrients, micronutrients, and calories. Look for these organic fruits and vegetables at farmers markets, farm stands, and grocery stores near you.
When it comes to eating healthy, the emphasis goes beyond just macronutrients, micronutrients, and calories. It even goes beyond food groups! When you make the conscious decision to start eating healthier foods, it’s important to pay attention to what’s in your food.
Did you know that the nutritional value of most our produce has decreased over the last few decades? The food we eat no longer gives us the nourishment it used to, requiring us to seek other sources of vital nutrients. This is due to the increasingly more common use of pesticides and genetically modified foods. By consuming organic produce as often as possible and choosing foods that are locally grown, you can minimize the effect of pesticides in your diet!
Each year, the Environmental Working Group puts out a dirty dozen and clean 15 list for organic produce. Here are the latest lists.
Beware These Foods: The Dirty Dozen
These foods have been named as the most likely to be contaminated by pesticides. If you’re on a budget, these are the foods you want to prioritize buying organic.
- Kale, collards, and mustard greens
- Bell and hot peppers
Safer Bets: The Clean Fifteen
These foods are the least likely to contain pesticides, according to the President’s Cancer Panel and the Environmental Working Group. Because of their many layers and rough outer skin, these foods are less likely to be toxic when conventionally grown.
- Sweet corn
- Sweet peas (frozen)
Buying Organic Produce
Most foods are much better for your body, on multiple levels, when purchased organic. They’re closer to the earth and more care has been taken to ensure that they’re grown in a natural setting.
If you’re not able to purchase organic at a grocery store, farmer’s markets are a great alternative. Local farmers aren’t subjected to the same large-scale requirements of a corporate or a farm subsidized by the government. They’re usually more likely to use fewer pesticides and more natural methods when growing foods. Often, these small farmers carry organic produce, even if the label itself doesn't say “organic.”
It’s also easier to buy foods that are in season if you have local sources. Farmers want to ensure that their stock doesn’t go bad before the next crop comes to flower. Eating seasonally is also statistically the best way to avoid food that has been genetically altered to remain fresh longer.
Where do you buy food in your neighborhood? Do you typically buy organic produce?