The Dirty Dozen vs. The Clean Fifteen if that doesn’t sound like a cheesy spaghetti western then I don’t know what does. But we aren’t talking about drawlin’ cowboys here instead we have fruit and veggies on the stand. The dirty and clean list refers to how much contaminants (pesticides etc.) each fruit or vegetable may contain. The list is originally from the Environmental Working Group and is an excellent guide. Your best bet is to buy organic fruit and veggies to make sure that they are contaminant free but let us be honest that can get expensive. So here are some alternatives.
- Grow your own. Whether you have a proper garden, balcony or windowsill try to grow something. This is something the whole family can be involved in and also teaches children where their food comes from.
- Buy local. Visit your farmers market, buy farm direct or have a produce swap with friends.
- Buy on sale. Sign up for your local organic store mailing list and ask if they have discount days. Produce like apples and potatoes can last a while if stored properly. Berries can be frozen for future use or you can even make a home made jam.
- Meal planning. Try out recipes that have a heavier focus on clean foods.
- Pick your battles. Fruit and veggies are still better than overly processed foods so even if the cost of organics is too high for you mix and match your dirty and cleans and use the guide to decide how much of each you would eat. Maybe you will decide to eat more of the “clean” produce and supplement with “dirty” produce. For example instead of eating apples, grapes and berries try pineapple, kiwi and mango.