4 Ways To Avoid Harmful Chemicals On Your Fruit & Veg

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Is Your Produce Harming You? 4 Ways To Avoid Harmful Chemicals On Your Fruit and Veg

Organic produce has become more mainstream, affordable, and {most importantly}, available in recent years thanks to a sweet combination of increasing consumer awareness and demand. For good reason. Pesticides have been linked to neurological damage, including Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, endocrine and reproductive disorders, and cancer. Scary stuff.

In a perfect world, everything would be grown organically, but alas it is not. Sigh. Fortunately, there are ways that we can protect ourselves from harmful pesticides without breaking the bank. Here are my top picks:

1. Use the Dirty Dozen Plus and Clean 15 Shopper’s Guide

Available here, this fantastic resource created by the Environmental Working Group {EWG} should be your produce-purchasing bible. According to the EWG, you can lower your pesticide intake substantially by avoiding the 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables and eating the 15 least contaminated produce.

2. Grow your own produce

I know, easier said than done. Trust me. I’m in year two of my organic veggie gardening adventures and if it weren’t for my sweet hubby keeping the crops watered, we’d have nothing. I mean nothing. However, when you do have the time to devote to it, it’s one of the most rewarding hobbies. There’s nothing like eating the fresh produce that YOU grew. And even better, it gets kids interested in eating the fresh veggies that they helped to grow, water, and pick.

3. Buy Fresh, Buy Local

Not all local farms are organic {the certification is freaking expensive}, but many are pesticide-free, which keeps their costs down, which are passed onto you, the consumer.

For those that do spray, many times they are not spraying near the amount that commercial farms spray, which is always a good thing if you can’t buy completely pesticide-free. Get to know your local farmer and ask about his or her spraying practices.

4. Wash, wash, wash

Make an inexpensive D-I-Y solution to remove the wax and pesticide residues on non-organic produce and then give them a good scrub (for the less delicate items).

Here’s how:

Using a 1:1 ratio, mix distilled white vinegar {buy that here} and water and soak your items for a few minutes or pour into a spray bottle {like this one} and spray. I do both. For larger items that can use a good soak (i.e., apples, lemons, potatoes), I’ll place in a large bowl and soak. For more delicate things, like herbs, or if I’m short on time, I’ll use my spray bottle that’s kept under the sink for easy access.

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That’s it. So easy, a caveman can do it.

Of course, organic is the best option if you can afford it and it’s available. However, if it’s a choice between eating conventional fresh whole fruits and veggies vs. highly processed organic “food” and snacks {organic cookies, etc.}, go with option 1, use this new-found knowledge to remove the pesticides that you can, and be confident that your actions will yield amazing health for you and your family.

By Kristen Boucher

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What are some of the reasons that you do or do not buy organic produce? Cost, availability, other? I’d LOVE to hear! Please leave a comment.

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Kristen BoucherKristen Boucher is a registered nurse, healthy living junkie, health & wellness coach, real foodie, full-time working wife to an amazing husband, cloth-diapering crunchy mama of two beautiful girls, creator of The Superwoman Slim Down: A Real Food Detox & Cleanse for Real Women, Lose Weight, Feel Great: 8 Weeks to a New You, and Founder of MIX | Wellness Solutions For A Balanced Life, where she inspires busy women to eliminate the overwhelm to lose weight, kick cravings, stress less, and cook delicious, healthy, and family-friendly meals so they can gain confidence, double their energy, and save money without crazy diets, countless hours at the gym, or quitting their day job. Kristen can be found pushing the envelope at www.mixwellness.com and on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+.

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Is Your Produce Harming You? 4 Ways To Avoid Harmful Chemicals On Your Fruit and Veg

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