Want to eat well AND save money on organics? I’ve got you covered, come closer…

Sat nam my love

If you are anything like us, you want to eat well AND save money where you can. We understand, the truth is, eating well is not only expensive, but at times it can feel like you need a degree in unraveling all the facts about the products that are sold to us as “food”. Even buying vegetables is not how it used to be in our grandparents time.

It seems a vegetable is not a vegetable, we need to check how many pesticides are used to grow it and whether it is grown from non genetically modified seed stock.

There’s a lot to take in and learn, not to worry, alone we can do so much, together we can do so much more. It’s too much to tackle all at once, so we are going to chunk it down into bite-size morsels that you can digest over time, all puns intended! Each week we will bite off a little more, and over time we will have the building blocks for the foundations to understand all this stuff we call food, most of which is “food-product” that looks like food but really isn’t.

So let’s start with something practical that you can take out into the world and bring back healthier, more cost effective food for you and your family.

Know which fruits and veggies need to be organic and which don’t. Meet the Dirty Dozen and the Clean Fifteen.

First things first, did you know that not everything has to be organic? That’s right, there are some things that you can buy conventionally grown without risking your health. And the really good news is that Environmental Working Group (“EWG”) makes a list every year of the cleanest vegetables, that is the ones with fewer pesticides and herbicides, and this is aptly called, the Clean Fifteen. On the other end of the spectrum are the 12 most polluted crops, the ones that use the most pesticides and herbicides, the ones we all want to steer clear of, this list is called the Dirty Dozen. You can download both lists here so you always have them with you when you shop.

Knowing which foods to buy organic keeps extra dollars in your wallet without compromising your health or the planet. We advise our clients to never eat from the Dirty Dozen unless organic is available and reasonably priced. For example, we love bell peppers, but I won’t but them at $4.99lb. So if you can’t afford, or don’t have access to,  the 12 fruits and vegetables on this list, it is better for your health NOT to eat them.

Shock, horror, as you can see from the list below, our beloved apple a day that used to keep the doctor away, is number 2 on the most poisonous fruits list! How’s that for modern day progress?

Let’s take a closer look at the Dirty Dozen, so you can leave these on the shelf if only conventional is available. Look for produce labels with numbers that start with 9 these are organic, whereas 4 means conventional.

The Dirty Dozen 
Strawberries
Apples
Nectarines
Peaches
Celery
Grapes
Cherries
Spinach
Tomatoes
Sweet bell peppers
Cherry tomatoes
Cucumbers

The Clean Fifteen
Avocados
Sweet Corn ***
Pineapple
Cabbage
Sweet peas (frozen)
Onions
Asparagus
Mangoes
Papayas***
Kiwi
Eggplant
Honeydew melon
Grapefruit
Canteloupe
Cauliflower
*** Note:a limited amount of sweetcorn, papaya and summer squash is grown from GM seedstock, avoid all Hawaiian non-organic papaya, and buy organic or GMO free of these fruits and veggies.

So there you have it, keep these lists handy, print them out or make a game and remember them. I will be back with more tips to save money and eat well in upcoming posts, including my favorite place to shop to save TONS of money on organics, that’s coming next, but for now I would love to know if you already knew about the Clean Fifteen and Dirty Dozen? How do you save money and eat well? I would love to know.

As always, it is my pleasure to share with you, I will be back for more kitchen ninja tricks.

Sending you love
Sat nam
Shiv

PS Want to see more behind the scenes, not posted to here or YouTube? Come check out what we are calling the coolest social experiment for change over at our Holla with a Dolla Global Change Fund page, this is our BIG dream unfolding, we would love to have you by our side.