The Dirty Dozen Versus The Clean 15


Country MoonClean 15

There is a lot of hype lately about buying organic. However, like most issues, it is not as simple as being black and white. Organic usually carries a pretty hefty price tag and, although it may be healthier for you, if choosing organic means limiting your food choices to a select few you may be robbing yourself of important health benefits by not eating a variety of fruits and vegetables.

So, what is a person to do? For guidelines you can refer to the “Dirty Dozen” versus the “Clean 15.” No, I am not talking about a shootout in an old western movie. Rather, these labels refer to which fruits and vegetables carry more pesticide residue and should be bought either organic or as a natural food item as opposed to those that do not carry so much of the residue and non-organic (and the cheaper price tag) will do just fine.

This whole issue does tend to get complicated. Some think that organic and natural food are interchangeable. Even though some foods may fall into both categories, there is a distinct difference. Organic refers to foods that are produced, manufactured and handled using organic means defined by certifying bodies such as the United States Department of Agriculture and the Organic Foods Product Act. Only foods labeled organic guarantees that no toxic synthetic pesticides, toxic synthetic herbicides or chemical fertilizers are used in the products. No antibiotics or growth hormones are given to the animals.

Organic producers and processors also are subject to announced and unannounced certification inspections by third party inspectors to ensure that they are producing and processing organic products in a manner that families can trust. To carry the organic label a product must contain at least 95% organically produced and processed ingredients. The label must also specify how much of the product qualifies as organic, with at least 70% of the product required to be organic.

Natural foods are food items derived from plants and animals that are not altered chemically or synthesized in any form. Natural foods are minimally processed and contain no hormones, antibiotics or natural flavors.  However, a food labeled natural does not indicate anything about how an animal was raised, fed or cared for. Since there is no FDA or USDA regulation of natural foods, many times foods labeled natural actually contain heavily processed ingredients.

3/24/2016 8:46:57 PM

Lois, I always knew that pesticides were used on vegetables but I guess I didn't know just how much. It doesn't surprise me that apples are high on the list of pesticide laden fruit. Every living thing likes apples. Most people do not like any thing but perfect fruit. Apple growers would never sell any fruit unless they pour on the pesticides to get that perfect blemish free apple. People have gotten so used to the concept of picture perfect fruit and veggies that they won't eat anything less. ***** Have a great clean 15 foods eating day.

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