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Organic vs. Conventional


I have a real interest in food, including food quality.  What we put into our bodies matters - for race performance, as well as for general health.  I have been eating a vegan diet since 2003.  This has been a little challenging - especially when trying to make sure I don't eat too many processed carbs when eating additional calories during marathon training.  Another challenge is deciding when to buy organic vs. conventional produce...

It seems like such a point of contention these days.  Is there truly a benefit to eating organic?  If you're like me and believe there is a benefit, you might be limited in buying organic because of your food budget.  A recent report has been published that is helpful when trying to decide which produce items to buy organic and what items can slip by as conventional.

Crunchy produce

Crunchy produce

The report has been published by the Environmental Working Group.  After reviewing nearly 100,000 reports from the government, the EWG has come up with a "Dirty Dozen" list and a "Clean 15" list.  These lists try to identify what fruits and vegetables have the highest, and lowest, amounts of chemical residue.   I believe lists like these are good starting points when deciding what to buy organic.

The "Dirty Dozen" fruits and vegetables are contaminated with an average of 10 different pesticides.  The soft skin on these items tends to absorb more peticides.

The Dirty Dozen
  1. Celery
  2. Peaches
  3. Strawberries
  4. Apples
  5. Domestic Blueberries
  6. Nectarines
  7. Sweet bell peppers
  8. Spinach, kale and collard greens
  9. Cherries
  10. Potatoes
  11. Imported grapes
  12. Lettuce
The "Clean 15" fruits and vegetables were found to contain an average of less than 2 different pesticides.
The Clean 15
  1. Onions
  2. Avocados
  3. Sweet corn
  4. Pineapples
  5. Mango
  6. Sweet peas
  7. Asparagus
  8. Kiwi fruit
  9. Cabbage
  10. Eggplant
  11. Cantaloupe
  12. Watermelon
  13. Grapefruit
  14. Sweet potatoes
  15. Sweet onions
Let this list be a guide when shopping for produce.  A common tip in buying affordable produce is to buy local produce at a farm stand or Farmer's Market, or grow your own produce when possible.
Happy eating ....  Let me know what you think about this post and what you do about buying organic!
yay organic!