The Dirty Truth (Updated w/ 2017 Reports)
The Dirty Truth - Updated for 2017
Organic vs. Conventional?!?! (my personal guidelines) 👇
I'm not a scientist or a Nutritionist, I just really like to read and inform myself on the science and the stats on this kind of stuff, so this is My take! ;)
You know...if I had the option to live on a farm and grow or raise everything we ate, I totally would. We have considered a farm, truthfully. Today's food in the US and the lack of regulation on it absolutely disgusts me. Every single time I start down the road of reading the updated information it makes me SICK, truly! It's mind boggling on a level that just goes down a never ending rabbit hole. And the worst part is, the crap "food" availability has driven the prices of the "healthier" option to a practically unattainable level for most people, especially those with families of 6 or more! It would be entirely impossible for me to feed my family 100% organic. Hence, I focus on what I believe to be the most important items. This is a personal opinion, but the items I try to buy exclusively organic are: dairy items, as much meat as possible, ALL the dirty dozen (which changes year to year!). Here is your printable to keep in your purse!
❓Why is it so important to pay attention? "The USDA found a total of 178 different pesticides and pesticide breakdown products on the thousands of produce samples it analyzed. The pesticides persisted on fruits and vegetables even when they were washed and, in some cases, peeled."
*EWG is a Non-profit, Non-partisan organization that uses reports from the USDA and FDA to better advise the population on how to protect themselves from pesticides and other synthetic chemicals. Visit their site to read full reports and sign up for more information, as it is updated regularly! You can also visit their Skin Deep site to check the safety of your cosmetics, sunscreens and other family personal care items!
I do not accept substitutes for anything on the Dirty Dozen list. You can visit ewg.org to find a much longer list and more detailed reports. But, some reasons include: 98% of 🍓strawberries contain pesticide residues, some as many as 17 different ones! And this doesn't violate the standards of our FDA! Keep in mind, that what they are looking for is the highest concentration and largest number of pesticides!
****Conventional Leafy Greens and Hot Peppers 🌿contain TOXIC chemicals which have been legally restricted from other crops. They are not on the list, because while they don't contain the highest concentration of pesticides, they do contain a residue of particular concern! So add these to your list! (*EWG.org)****
****UPDATE - New to 2017 Spinach has moved onto the list and all the way up to #2 due to the concentration of permethrin, a neurotoxic insecticide banned from use in Europe. 😒"The USDA recently published results of a pesticide analysis for 683 conventionally grown spinach samples collected in 2015. These samples contained far more pesticides by weight than all other crops tested, and double or more the amount found on all other Dirty Dozen crops." ~ewg.org
Read the Full report on Spinach and the possible links to ADHD as well as presence of DDT, which has been banned since the 1970s!
❗Food Scores Site & App - You can even visit their site and search for safety ratings on your favorite packaged and non-packaged food items, as well as health & beauty products!
Key findings: *EWG.org
More than 98 percent of strawberry samples, spinach, peaches, nectarines, cherries and apples tested positive for at least one pesticide residue.
A single grape sample and a sweet bell pepper sample contained 15 pesticides.
Single samples of strawberries showed 20 different pesticides (+3 more than last years tests).
Spinach samples had, on average, twice as much pesticide residue by weight than any other crop.
The GOOD News -😀 per ewg.org
"The Clean Fifteen list of produce least likely to contain pesticide residues included sweet corn, avocados, pineapples, cabbage, onions, frozen sweet peas, papayas, asparagus, mangoes, eggplant, honeydew melon, kiwis, cantaloupe, cauliflower and grapefruit." Check out the full list!
Look out for GMOs...they like to hide! Practically anything that contains corn or soy has them these days. This makes it tough to get truly clean meat because that stuff is usually in their feed! The jury is out on some GMOs and whether they are all dangerous or not, but corn/soy are of particular concern to me, based on what I know. Right this second, at my favorite grocery store, they are offering fresh white/yellow corn on the cob for $.40/ear. Guess what their price is on organic corn? $7.77/ear! What does this tell you? While corn appears on the clean list, it is also one of the most Genetically Modified! Corn is even a registered pesticide in several states! CORN! Over 80% of the corn sold in the US is GM Corn. It has been altered to kill off the insects that attack it, consequently, it can produce more than 4 times the legal amount of pesticides that it would normally be sprayed with! (*DowntoEarth.org) Additionally, MOST Hawaiian Papaya is GMO!!!!
TIP! - If you can't find or afford the Organic Option for everything, wash well & cook the conventional version! 🍳 Cooking produce typically reduces the presence of toxins!
The trickle down! Tomatoes, grapes, blueberries and strawberries are all at the top of the Dirty Dozen list, so think about what those go into! Salsa, pasta sauce, pizza sauce, raisins, strawberry/blueberry jam, fruit on the bottom yogurt, and the list goes on! (But the requirements are different in other countries, so if it's not produced here, the contaminants could be much different).
Dairy - Conventional Dairy items contain higher growth hormones (banned in more than 30 other countries), antibiotics used to fatten the cows up and keep them from getting diseases, pesticide & herbicide residues. It is also much less nutritional due to the empty, improper nutrition and unsatisfactory conditions of the livestock. Buy organic where possible! Soft cheeses are also your least processed!
Absolutely NO Farm Raised fish/shellfish! 🐟 In many instances, farmers feed them corn/soy which is always contaminated with unhealthy pesticide levels. Most of it comes from other countries, ones which have no regulations of dumping hormones, drugs, chemicals into the ponds to increase harvest! And, there is tons of issue with contaminated holding tanks there! Buy Wild Caught, buy Local where you can! I know it can be expensive, but today stores have to list if fish is farm-raised/wild caught and the country of origin! Check!!
Meat - Same as Fish! 🐂 Conventional Livestock, all of it, is typically laden with pesticides and herbicides by way of their diets. They are supplied with the cheapest feed to get them big, fat fast. Production is what's in the forefront here. Not to mention, the conditions can be disgusting. Buy organic where possible! It is not always possible, or feasible! The pesticides, etc. are found in the fat, just like they are in humans! Think visceral fat! So, when you buy leaner cuts, you are not getting as much of that in your meat! We buy strictly organic chicken and ground turkey because of availability. I buy only grass-fed ground beef! However, If am buying beef tenderloin, I usually get conventional and trim it myself!
The GOOD News, 👍 with respect to Grass fed, Pastured Meat, is the amazing benefit of the presence of several essential fatty acids, which help to build our brains and ward off all kinds of disease (CLA, DHA, AA, etc.) that do not occur in other farm raised meats! "By eating exclusively grass-fed sources of animal fats we supply our bodies with a rich plethora of vital nutrients critical to the health of your body and brain you would be hard-pressed to find elsewhere." *http://www.primalbody-primalmind.com Check out this amazing post on Grass Fed Meat - it WILL change your view!
$$$ But, make sure you pay attention! Many times, organic sweet potatoes, cauliflower and other items are actually less expensive because they are locally sourced! Certainly try to buy local whenever, wherever possible!!! Generally, local produce has much less contamination because of the farm to table time frame and the size of the farm. They need far less modification when they will be consumed in a quick time frame! At Farmer's Markets you can usually find organic options or ask the farmers about what's used on the produce!
THE LONG - I'm not going to get super technical, because this could go on FOREVER, and it's Saturday, right? But sadly, in the US right now, it's easy to ignore all the confusing chatter about GMOs and Pesticides and just buy organic here and there and feel okay about your choices! You can do that, but be informed about which ones to buy organic and which ones you don't have to pay such close attention to! In my opinion, the FDA and Big $ companies try to make it very confusing so people don't really TRY to understand what all this really means. They try to make us think, that they have our best interests in mind, when really you should look at the research and form your own opinion with regards to that. ;) For more information I would be happy to chat about this and even give you some awesome documentary recommendations. Be advised, if you have not taken a trip down this rabbit hole, it's mind-blowing! The first time I dove in, I was depressed for days. You CAN limit exposure though KNOWLEDGE!
The Nutritional Gap - all of this information is the perfect example of WHY, in this world today, proper nutrient/vitamin supplementation is absolutely integral in supplying our bodies with what they need to function as they are intended, in an efficient manner. Fruits and vegetables were once a seasonal crop, now they are engineered and housed to be available year round. In order to supply for this demand, they are modified and grown under conditions much different from their original form. This also plays hugely into that gap. Food today simply does NOT meet the quality that our bodies need! Meat and Seafood are all nutritional sub-par to what they once were. No matter how hard you try to fuel your body with the best possible choices, there is still a lack of proper nutrition! Invest in a nutritional system to help you fill that gap. If you need recommendations, please contact me - I am happy to help!
*This is a topic that is at the TOP of my passion and interest! While I HATE what I know about it, I love to share my knowledge and have discussions about it! I love to inform and help others modify their diets and their choices so they can better feed their families! If you want to chat or want any additional information, please reach out! You can limit exposure though knowledge!!!!!