THE DIRTY DOZEN: PRODUCE 101

dirtydozen1Organic…non-GMO…pesticide free…free range…locally grown…who know grocery shopping could be this complicated?  My mother surely did not anticipate this.  As a young child, she would take me to the farmers markets.  “This is how you pick a “good” one,” she would say.   She chose fruits and vegetables based on how they looked or smelled and how they fit into her menu for the week.

One topic we never talked about was organic versus inorganic.  Amazingly, this question is now part of the mainstream parental consciousness.  Being one of these parents, I have reached several conclusions (for now).

One, eating fresh nutritious food is more important to me than only eating organic foods.  So if that means I am preparing non-organic green beans for dinner, I will live with that.

Two, when possible, I try to reduce the pesticide and chemical exposure whether in my food or in my environment.  I do this by reviewing the “dirty dozen” list of produce, while I am shopping.  The Environmental Working Group (www.ewg.org) has a great foldout card (included in the post) that helps me choose fruits and vegetables with lower pesticide content.

A few years ago, an apple was an apple (with or without wax/pesticides).  Fortunately, now we know better (although we have a long way to go).  Finding good resources of information is important.  Two resources of mine are http://www.ewg.org and http://www.healthychildren.org.  What resources do you use for nutrition-related information?