I love produce and especially love fresh, crisp, ready to eat fruit sitting on the counter in our kitchen. When my family or I get a sudden hunger or need for sweets it helps to have fresh fruit ready and waiting so I don't cave and go for something less healthy like a cookie or some sort of junk food.
Produce can be a difficult purchase for some, because it can be expensive at times, and you always run the risk of it spoiling before you even get a chance to eat it. This is something we review a lot in my workshops to provide tips and tricks to make a wise purchase, a budget friendly purchase, and to avoid waste.
When I'm teaching nutrition workshops I often get asked
"which foods are the most important to buy organic, and are there ways to save money since organic is so expensive?"
Well there is a list called the "dirty dozen" that will help you on your next trip. These items are most important to buy organic if you can, since residues from pesticides and chemical fertilizers negatively impact the body because they are man-made and cannot be properly processed by the body.
While there is much that is still unknown about the hazards of chemicals used in modern agriculture, common sense tells us that if a chemical is designed to kill living pests, it can't be all that safe for living humans!
Here is your list of top items to buy organic:
Sweet Bell Peppers
Shopping the freezer section for produce is a great way to find items like organic berries, and for a fair price. That also is a great way to get them even when not in season. Always check the ingredient label to see if anything else has been added, like sweeteners or colors. When possible, choose the one that just has the produce, nothing added.
Your local farmers market is another great way to find fabulous fair priced organic produce, with the added benefit of supporting your local farmer!
Now, does this mean if you can't buy organic, don't buy at all?
Absolutely not. Your body needs the rich nutrients that produce provides. If you can't buy organic, then just make sure to wash your produce thoroughly before eating to minimize the exposure to the unsafe pesticides.
Need a great homemade simple solution to wash your produce? I've got that too!! Try this next time you are washing and see how easy it is!
Fruit and Veggie Wash:
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 cup of water.
Hope you find these little tips helpful this weekend as you go shopping and prep your meals for the week. If you have ideas or tips to share, leave a comment. We always love to hear from you!