Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Don't Panic, Buy Organic

Jumping off from yesterday's post, I thought I'd dedicate this whole first week of December to posts about wellness and making healthy changes.  On that note, I recently had a conversation with my beloved sister-in-law about buying organic.  She's just out of college and, like almost all of us, needs to keep her grocery budget in check.  She's eager to buy organic, but needs to pick and choose which items to splurge on.  She asked if she was only to buy a limited number of organic products, which would be the most important.  I think this is a great question for everyone, and wanted to share the answer based on my research and personal opinion.  It is widely agreed upon among environmental experts that the following produce items, most of which have little or no protective skin on them like, say, an orange, are the "Dirty Dozen":

1. Peaches
2. Apples
3. Sweet Bell Peppers
4. Celery
5. Nectarines
6. Strawberries
7. Cherries
8. Pears
9. Grapes
10. Spinach
11. Lettuce
12. Potatoes
If you are only going to buy certain things organic, these items should top your list, as the conventionally grown varieties of these are known to have the highest level of harmful pesticides.  I'd also add:
1. Meat:  If your diet is going to include meat, the socially and environmentally responsible thing to do is buy it from small, organic farmers.  Factory farming is an abomination of any belief system.  Organic meat tastes better, and spares your body from pesticides and hormones that are in conventional meat.  The Meatrix is both a hilarious and disturbing look at factory farming.
2. Dairy:  Bovine growth hormone and antibiotics perhaps do not do a body good. 
3. Coffee: Non-organic coffee is incredibly pesticide-laden, and the equivalent of starting your day with a mug of chemicals.  Make like my handsome barista, and brew yourself an organic espresso instead.

More interesting information on organics:
The Eat Well Guide
Top 10 Reasons to Go Organic
And another shout out to my very favorite natural foods cooking website, 101 Cookbooks.  Heidi Swanson is brilliant, and all of her recipes make you feel like you are dining at an amazing spa.  I'm hoping to feature a Heidi-inspired meal or 2 in my December detox.

How do you want to improve your health now and in 2010?


  1. I am already a vegetarian, and buy organic whenever possible, so I feel pretty good on the food ingredient front. But, I am very inspired to try new things, thanks to this blog! (P.S. the bourbon turkey was a HUGE hit at Thanksgiving!)
    The way I vow to improve my health now and in 2010 is with exercise. 1) I would like to go to a yoga class at least twice per week. My mom and I motivate each other to go, so that's been helpful. I realized this when I went to a beginning class and it almost kicked my bootie. 2) Not only would I like to exercise more, but now that I live down south I don't have too many cold weather prohibitions, therefore I would like to exercise more OUTSIDE. Ride my bike, go for hikes & walks, play with my doggie (which is, sadly, a workout)and perhaps throw a frisbee around on a frisbee golf course somtimes!
    3)I repeat: Yoga. Twice a week.

  2. I hear you on the yoga. It is so hard to just get there!
    And I am so glad the b.turkey worked out! :)