The Dirty Dozen- by team member Kerri Cooper
People often ask me what the benefits of switching to organic food are when they are admittedly more expensive. I tell them simply that there are always hidden costs to cheap food. As the expression in the natural health world goes “pay for it now, or pay for it later”. Study after study has shown that organic foods are not only less harmful to our environment, but are also much richer in nutrients. After all, if the nutrients are not present in a healthy and well maintained soil, they won’t be in the food grown in that soil, will they?
Perhaps the most important reason to make the switch (especially for women in their reproductive years) is that organic food has much less contamination of toxic pesticides present. Most pesticides are endocrine disruptors, which mean that they disrupt our reproductive and hormone systems. Eating the pesticides found commonly in our food supply may contribute to nervous system dysfunction, birth defects, miscarriages, hormone disruption, skin, lung and eye irritation, or even cancer.
The fact that we have to go out of our way and pay more money for “toxin free food” is an absurdity we seem to accept, but until our food system changes completely to toxin free, we can use some tricks of the trade to be economical when buying organic. Save your money and pass on the expensive packaged organic foods such as organic chips, crackers, cookies and condiments. Your money will go much further toward organic fresh whole foods, such as meat, dairy, eggs and produce. You can also be economical by using the “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean Fifteen list” as a shopping guide.
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has over the years been conducting a Meta-analysis (research analysis of numerous research studies) by the U.S Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration on pesticide contamination of the most commonly eaten foods. They rated these foods based on the levels and numbers of pesticides found on them. From this they determined that a person can reduce their pesticide consumption by 80% if they avoid their consumption of the twelve most contaminated fruits and vegetables. This means that instead of consuming up to 10 pesticides a day by eating these foods, you could reduce your consumption to only 2 pesticides a day by eating the Clean 15 Foods.
The Dirty Dozen
The Clean 15
|Sweet Bell Pepper||Frozen Sweet Corn|
|Strawberries||Frozen Sweet Peas|
For more information on this study and pesticide consumption, visit: http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/
Kerri Cooper BSc., CNP is a Holistic Nutritionist and a nutrition educator. She has a special interest working with women throughout their reproductive years, advising them on issues related to fertility, pre-conception detoxification, pre and post-natal nutrition and breastfeeding. You can read more about Kerri here: http://coreexpectations.com/about-us/nutritionist/kerri-cooper/