Keeping it clean

Written by Rhian Hunter

Growing practices can affect produce, allowing the food to absorb pesticides and therefore leaving trace amounts in your meals. For this reason, many of us know that going organic is better not only for the environment, but also better for our health.

You can find organic alternatives for just about everything, from meat and dairy products, to fruits and vegetables, all the way to cleaning products and skin care. But with the overwhelming choices that confront us on the supermarket shelves, organic is often put in the too-hard basket instead of our shopping basket.

Organic produce is also often more expensive than conventional produce and products, so if buying lots of organic foods isn’t affordable or feasible for you then don’t stress about totally making over your grocery list all at once.

Instead, a good strategy to employ may be buying the organic versions of produce that rank among the most contaminated, and then sticking with conventional foods that are least contaminated can save you some coin.

These two lists are referred to as the Dirty Dozen, and the Clean 15, and they offer us a good starting point on our organic journey.

Fruit and vegetables on the Clean 15 list require minimal intervention in order to flourish, and in their non-organic form contain the least amount of nasty pesticides. These foods are: asparagus, avocado, cabbage, rockmelon, kiwifruit, eggplant, mushroom, grapefruit, onion, mango, peas, watermelon, sweet potato, corn and pineapple.

The Dirty Dozen list comprises fruit + veg that are laden with pesticides and other chemicals and they are as follows: apples, capsicum, blueberries, celery, grapes, cucumber, lettuce, nectarines, peaches, potatoes, strawberries and spinach.

If you want to start adding on to your transition list of foods, then I’d also suggest looking for organic/hormone/antibiotic free meat, Non-GMO soy products, and avoiding fish that is artificially dyed to make to make it more appealing to consumers.

Lastly, look to your own backyard, start growing your own herbs, leafy greens and of you have the space, get a few chooks. There is nothing more grounding and rewarding than growing your own foods and seeing this whole cycle from start to finish.