5/20/11

Do I Recommend Organic Produce?

Tuesday, I had the joy of working with the Registered Dietitian from Colleyville Lifetime Fitness to provide 2 store tours for our Colleyville store guests. We explored the store from produce to protein, and from cheese to Cheerios. We discussed the best foods to choose and the best ways to shop at Market Street. Of course, we spent a large amount of our time in the most colorful and nutritious department - Produce.

We discussed three main topics: organics, NuVal and eating seasonally. Today we will discuss organics.

Organics:  It's no secret that some organic products cost more than traditional products. It can be a little overwhelming. Here are my guidelines for buying organic produce. You might be surprised...



1. First off, buy and actually eat produce. The goal is to have 2 1/2 cups of vegetables and 2 cups of fruit per day. The benefits of actually eating fruits and vegetables far outweigh the risks of pesticides and herbicides.

2. Once you are regularly eating your fruits and vegetable,s consider moving your produce dollars to organics. Below is a list of the "Dirty Dozen." These are the top 12 produce items that consistently show the largest amounts of pesticides and herbicides. Start by purchasing 1-2 of these and gradually make your switch. You will also see a list of the "Clean 15." These are produce that you can buy traditionally farmed. You can also download a printable version here.

12 Most Contaminated
Celery
Peaches
Strawberries
Apples
Blueberries
Nectarines
Bell Peppers
Spinach
Cherries Kale/Collard Greens
Potatoes
Grapes (Imported)

15 Least Contaminated
Onions
Avocado
Sweet Corn
Pineapple
Mangoes
Sweet Peas
Asparagus
Kiwi
Cabbage
Eggplant
Cantaloupe
Watermelon
Grapefruit
Sweet Potato
Honeydew Melon

Traditionally farmed
produce starts with a "4"
3. Lastly, use the 4-digit code on produce to determine if it is organic. If the 4-digit code starts with a "4", it is traditionally farmed. If it starts with a "9", it's organic!

Organic produce
starts with a "9"

Look for my newest post next week as we tackle NuVal in the produce department and eating seasonally.

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