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Something that became even more apparent to me when I started to feed little Gray solids was organic food. The tricky part is….it is expensive!! I bit the bullet and tried to get most of it organic when I could.

Toxins are more harmful to children than adults, and at the most important time of his development I wanted to be giving him the best I could. Plus, I really worry about the growth hormones and antibiotics in the meat we eat. I knew we could not afford to eat everything organic so this is what I did.

There is a list called the “dirty dozen” and it is estimated that if a consumer avoids eating non-organically grown produce on this list, pesticide exposure can be reduced by up to 80%. Well that is a great compromise I think!

Here it is:
1. Celery
2. Peaches
3.Strawberries
4.Apples
5.Blueberries – U.S. Grown
6.Nectarines
7.Sweet Bell Peppers
8.Spinach
9.Kale and Collard Greens
10.Cherries
11.Potatoes
12.Grapes – Imported from outside U.S.

The list goes all the way up to 49, if you want to see the rest of the list go here: http://lowcarbdiets.about.com/od/nutrition/a/pesticides.htm

There is also a list called the “clean fifteen.” This produce has the least, if any, pesticide residue:

1.Onions
2.Avocado
3.Sweet Corn – frozen
4.Pineapple
5.Mango
6.Sweet Peas
7.Asparagus
8.Kiwi
9.Eggplant
10.Cabbage
11.Cantaloupe – US grown
12.Watermelon
13.Grapefruit
14.Sweet Potato
15.Mushrooms

Another handy trick that I have learned is to pay attention to the food codes on those little stickers on the produce.

  • A 4-digit number means that the food was conventionally grown and may or may not be genetically modified.
  • A 5-digit number that begins with an 8 is a genetically modified food. However, not all GM foods can be identified because PLU labeling is optional.
  • A 5-digit number that begins with a 9 indicates it is organic, and thus a non-GM food.

The final thing that you can do is to get your produce as clean as possible, organic or not. Diluting white or apple cider vinegar makes a great cleaner.

You can use a ratio of 1:3, vinegar:water. For smooth fruits and vegetables you can put the mix in a spray bottle and spray your fruit or veggie about 6 times and rub it for at least thirty seconds. Give it a good rinse under cold water. Firm produce (sweet potatoes) can be scrubbed with a brush and this solution.

Leafy greens can be soaked in the diluted vinegar solution, combine in a large container, soak for 3 minutes, rinse well under cold water.

You can also add one or two tablespoons of lemon juice to the mixture. Lemon has natural disinfectant qualities, around 6 times more acidic than vinegar. Plus it smells yummy and fresh!

And do not soak for too long, water decreases the nutrients and vitamins in fruits and veggies. Enjoy all those yummy fruits and veggies!!