Contributed by: Alexis Brill
Let’s face it: Food shopping can be hard sometimes. Our society is filled with conflicting information about food – what to buy and what not to buy. Feeling overloaded with information can make it seem cumbersome to go food shopping.
Also, nowadays many foods are genetically modified.
One element of food shopping is whether to buy organic or not. I try to buy organic when I can, and I try to follow the Dirty/Clean list as best as I can. Why? Because conventionally grown produce has pesticides, and can sometimes be genetically modified to handle drought, look ‘better’ on shelves, and to yield more bang for the farmers buck.
70% of conventionally grown produce has pesticides on it. Pesticides are chemicals that keep bugs and plants (aka ‘pests’) off of produce. They are toxic and overexposure can cause health complications, including disrupting our nervous system, increasing risk of cancer, and hormonal imbalance.
The best way to take action to reduce your exposure to pesticides is to shop for organic produce according to the Dirty Dozen/Clean 15 list, as often as you can.The Environmental Working Group developed this list, based on the 12 most pesticide-heavy produce, and the 15 least pesticide-heavy, or “cleanest” produce. EWG even added 2 items to the Dirty Dozen list this year: kale/greens, and green beans.
I keep it real. I can’t afford to shop organic all the time. But I do keep the Dirty/Clean printable PDF list in my Mat and Nat vegan wallet (sorry, had to plug Matt and Nat because I love them so much), and bust it out to guide me when I have some extra spending cash. You can also download a phone app with the Dirty/Clean list.
So keep it simple: Print out the Dirty/Clean list (or download the phone app) and try to buy organic when you can – because who wants hormonal imbalance or increased cancer risk? Organic may cost more, but you’re saving yourself from serious health risks and medical bills, which are even more damaging to your wallet.
Alexis Brill, Guest Contributor & Member of The Seed Team
Alexis Brill is the no-fuss vegan behind the simple vegan, the insider guide to an easy vegan lifestyle. Alexis works to take the fear out of veganism, and helps people who are veg-curious to make better lifestyle choices. A passionate plant-based foodie, she is currently studying holistic nutrition and helping animals in her spare time. Visit her website, follow her on Twitter, and check out her Facebook page.