Clients frequently ask me whether they should use organic foods while on a Nutritionhelp programme. It is certainly beneficial to buy organic whenever possible. High pesticide residues may potentially be linked to some health issues as well as affecting the ongoing composition of soil. However, at Nutritionhelp we realise that many of our clients are too ill to work, or are feeding families, making the extra expense of buying organic produce all the time not practically feasible. This is why the work done by the Environmental Working Group in the US is so helpful. Each year they analyse Department of Agriculture data to produce a list ranking foods on the level of pesticide residue they carry. The group estimates that by switching to organic for just the top 12 foods on this list, individuals may reduce their exposure to pesticides by 80%! The list also helps us understand which types of produce are most affected, enabling us to make an informed ‘swap’ to an alternative vegetable or fruit which is lower in pesticide residue. Although this list is produced in America it gives us a fair insight into how we can reduce pesticide intake here in the UK.
Over the next few days I will list the top 12 foods to avoid, replace, or buy organic, and then follow that with the ‘Clean Fifteen’ – foods with the lowest chemical residue. Not all the foods listed may be a part of a clients Nutritionhelp recommended diet plan. For example, fruit should not feature in your diet if you are currently addressing your gut ecology. However, I will reproduce the list here for the sake of those shopping and cooking for family and friends, and for the clients themselves once they are progressing. I will also look at some vegetable ‘washes’ that may be helpful, and mention some of the companies who are endeavouring to provide. fresh, local, organic produce.
Check the blog tomorrow for the first of the ‘Dirty Dozen’.