Peony Pincher: What Produce Should You Be Buying

Aug 05, 2021 at 10:47 am by RMGadmin

With Krista Ehret

Ok, here’s the thing. Everyone has their own opinion on the whole organic food debate. Some think it’s a sham for food companies to get more money; others find it essential for everything in their kitchen to be organic. So I can’t clear up any misconceptions or doubts you may have about the system. I’m so far from an agricultural expert, but I may help motivate and guide you in your organic journey. Here are a few facts about organic produce:

The “USDA Certified Organic” label is mandated, unlike many of our food labels.
If it has that seal, it has grown ingredients according to the standard set in place. Such as soil quality, pesticide use, additives, and animal raising practices. *
Humans weren’t meant to ingest toxic pesticides.
Yes, maybe we shall evolve into chemical-dissolving machines, but such is not the case currently. The problem is, many of our crops are laden with pesticides, which are absorbed through the skin of the fruit or veggie. So, when we’re washing our apples to “clean them,” there goes Round-Up® into our systems.
Yes, wind can carry pesticides from one farm to another.
So, if there is an organic crop near a non-organic crop, those foods could become compromised.
Organic farms often do still use pesticides to protect their crops from natural predators.
The difference is organic farmers are required to “use biological or botanical pesticides such as neem- and citrus-based materials, and synthetic materials included on the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances.” *** These laws do vary from state to state.
“Organic” does not equal “healthy.”
You still need to look at the ingredients. USDA Organic produce cannot be Genetically Modified Organic. GMO foods are a whole topic in and of themselves, but at this point, I steer clear of them.

Now that we’ve cleared up a few things, back to the show. Every year, the Environmental Working Group lists the “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean 15”. The Dirty Dozen is a list of the produce with the most pesticides, and the Clean 15 have the least amounts of pesticides.

These lists are extremely helpful for those of us who want to eat as clean as possible but can’t afford to buy everything organic.

Dirty Dozen in 2021
  1. Strawberries
  2. Spinach
  3. Kale, Collard & Mustard Greens
  4. Nectarines
  5. Apples
  6. Grapes
  7. Cherries
  8. Peaches
  9. Pears
  10. Bell & Hot Peppers
  11. Celery
  12. Tomatoes

Notice a trend here? The majority of them have soft skin, perfect for nibbling and perfect for absorbing those pesticides. If you can only buy certain produce organic or local, start with these. 

Clean 15 in 2021
  1. Avocados
  2. Sweet Corn (still buy organic if trying to avoid GMO)
  3. Pineapple
  4. Onions
  5. Papaya
  6. Sweet Peas (frozen)
  7. Eggplant
  8. Asparagus
  9. Broccoli
  10. Cabbage
  11. Kiwi
  12. Cauliflower
  13. Mushrooms
  14. Honeydew Melon
  15. Cantaloupe

So, one last bit of knowledge to lay on you. When thinking about reducing your toxic load, you also have to consider the products that stem from these crops; strawberry jams, applesauce, tomato sauces, ketchup, raisins. I buy all of these organic. I can make this sacrifice financially because it gives me peace of mind, especially since half of these things are going into the kids more than myself. Making good decisions starts with educating.

From intimate dinner parties to huge annual events, Krista believes we can always find an excuse to celebrate.
With a background in interior and event design, she loves bringing people together in a beautiful and welcoming environment.



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