Spring Cleaning Your Produce

sb10068539ai-001Warmer weather is finally here!  You can spring clean not only your house but also your produce by looking for organic, which is produced without synthetic pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, or fertilizers. Organic produce isn’t irradiated or treated with industrial solvents, and it has not been genetically modified. Fortunately, when you are in a grocery store, there is a simple way to tell  if a given fruit or vegetable is organic or conventional. Just look at the small sticker that usually contains a four- or five-digit code:

  • A four-digit code means that the fruit or vegetable has been produced conventionally.
  • A five-digit code starting with an 8 means the fruit or vegetable has been genetically modified.
  • A five-digit code starting with a 9 means the fruit or vegetable is organic.

Of course, not all produce is sprayed equally, so if you’re trying to choose which fruits and veggies to buy organic, you might want to look at the Environmental Working Group’s list of the top-sprayed produce (the Dirty Dozen) and the least-sprayed produce (the Clean Fifteen). It’s absolutely worth buying organic versions of the Dirty Dozen to avoid exposing you and your family to pesticides and other synthetic chemicals.

Take these lists to the store with you to spring-clean your body!

Dirty Dozen

  • Strawberries
  • Spinach
  • Nectarines
  • Apples
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Cherries
  • Grapes
  • Celery
  • Tomatoes
  • Sweet bell peppers
  • Potatoes

Clean Fifteen

  • Onions
  • Sweet corn (note that most corn products contain GMO corn, which is a different strain; sweet corn refers to fresh ears)
  • Pineapples
  • Avocado
  • Asparagus
  • Sweet peas
  • Mangoes
  • Eggplant
  • Cantaloupe
  • Kiwi
  • Cabbage
  • Papaya (note that Hawaiian papayas are GMO)
  • Cauliflower
  • Grapefruit
  • Honeydew

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