This post is a modified version of a newsletter that I wrote. Every week I share nutrition insights and tips, along with a recipe and recommendations for things to read, listen to, or try. I would be stoked if you signed up: sign up here.

Deep dive on buying organic

Every week I work on small improvements to my diet and habits, hoping that they accrue over time. One of the important things that I’ve been focusing on more and more is seeking out organic products.

In general, avoiding unnecessary chemicals is high up on my to do list, and especially in my food. I’ll take my veggies au naturale.

At the same time, buying all organic can cost more and sometimes you can’t even find everything organic.

So today I’m sharing some of the foods that you should always try to buy organic, and which ones you can get away with buying conventional.  

Why buy organic

When you buy organic, you’re buying produce that was grown without herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides. These are used to improve the yield on produce, but they come with possible side effects…

Glyphosate, which is the most popular herbicide on the market (AKA Roundup) has multiple lawsuits filed against it for allegedly causing cancer and some studies are backing them up.

Like anything in nutrition science, this is where it gets a little sticky. Both the USA EPA and EU have classified glyphosate as unlikely to be carcinogenic, however the WHO has classified it as “probably carcinogenic to humans.”

Monsanto (owner of Roundup) spends millions of dollars lobbying governments, so I won’t hold my breath for the US to turn it’s stance around.

Also, if you and your microbiome are on the rocks, one way to get back at it might be to eat non-organically grown produce. More than half of the species in your microbiome may be sensitive to glyphosate. And you know your microbiome is critical to your health.

Glyphosate isn’t the only thing that you would need to worry about with conventional produce. Pesticides and fungicides are also at play. The EWG found that nearly 90% of convention citrus fruits had hormone disrupting fungicides on them. 

video: fungicides are found on 90% of citrus fruits

Watch the video  

Organic growers are also more likely to use more sustainable growing practices, and have higher quality produce, resulting in more nutritious and tastier food.

So, that’s just a little taste of some reasons to eat organic…

The Dirty Dozen (buy these organic)

Luckily, if you can’t get everything organic, you don’t have to. The EWG puts out its Dirty Dozen list every year. The Dirty Dozen are the 12 foods found to be the most contaminated with pesticides which you should always opt to buy organic.

the dirty dozen most contaminated produce ewg

Here’s the list:

  1. Strawberries
  2. Spinach
  3. Kale, collard and mustard greens
  4. Nectarines
  5. Apples
  6. Grapes
  7. Cherries
  8. Peaches
  9. Pears
  10. Bell and hot peppers
  11. Celery
  12. Tomatoes

Read more about the dirty dozen here

The Clean Fifteen (ok to buy these conventional)

If you’re going to buy anything conventional, make it something on this list. These are the fifteen least contaminated fruits and vegetables you can find.

According to EWG, “Almost 70 percent of Clean Fifteen fruit and vegetable samples had no pesticide residues.”

the clean fifteen least contaminated produce by ewg

Here’s the list:

  1. Avocados
  2. Sweet corn
  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. Cantaloupes

Read more about the clean fifteen here

Ok, I hope this was helpful! Bookmark the EWG website or get the app so you can always refer back to these lists. 

Recipe

organic tamari tofu recipe

As a kid, I remember going to my friends house and having tofu with soy sauce. That was it, and I loved it. 

Now-a-days, when I’m looking for a quick snack I’ll do that with a little upgrade. You can use this as an easy side, snack, or lunch. Depending on how you use it will depend on the servings, but half a block of tofu is good for 2 people as a hearty snack. 

  • 1/2 block of tofu (organic, non-GMO)
  • 1 Tbls Tamari soy sauce (gluten free, organic, non-GMO)
  • 2 tsp Toasted sesame oil
  • 3-4 sprigs of of cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 spring onion, sliced
  • Top with sesame seeds, garlic powder, and other herbs/spices as desired

Directions: Cut the tofu into about 20 squares (4×5). Add the tamari and sesame oil, then cilantro, spring onion, and spices on top. That’s really it! Enjoy!

You can let this marinade for a little bit (20 minutes~) if you’d like and let the tofu soak up the flavor.  

Thanks to my paying subscribers who support the creation of this newsletter and recipes! Get one more recipe / month and support me by becoming a premium subscriber for about $1 a month. 

Recommendations

  • Read: Woman gets a brain implant that zaps her brain with electricity to stop her depression…and it works. I have mixed feelings on this, but it’s really interesting.
  • Watch or listen: I’ve been doing some research on detoxification (expect a newsletter soon), and this podcast with Shawn Stevenson and Dr. Alejandro Junger was right up my alley.

Thanks to all who read this far! I appreciate you.

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