by Rachel Stevens April 06, 2018

Ok so as much as I hate to admit it, I know that it’s not always possible to buy all organic everything, all the time. I am a bit of an idealist and it pains me to say this. However, I am also an optimist, so I have a theory. See I went a little overboard for about 15 years and wouldn’t eat anything that wasn’t organic. I justified this by telling myself that each time I ate even a smidgen of conventional food (that Queso dip though) I would feel very sick to my stomach, heavy and tired. So, a zealot was born shaped and molded into a beacon of organic standards, cape flapping in the fresh mountain breeze, standing proudly in front of the Whole Foods on Pearl Street.

Until the unavoidable happened. I was on a business trip and didn’t have access to anything organic. For four days, I ate conventional food with my team mates and by the end of the 2nd day I was viciously ill. Could not move, body aching, sick as a dog. Death by starvation being the only alternative, it seemed ridiculous NOT to make some type of modifications to my diet as to avoid this scenario from reoccurring. Because it probably won’t be the last time I may not be able to honor my food preferences. So, what now? Is there a safe way to familiarize myself with the methods used in conventional growing? What will the Granola Gang think? Am I destined to hide incognito in the trees beside Boulder Creek, Wendy’s bag stashed in my Tom’s backpack…ravenously crushing French fries?!

Nah. Maybe you’ve heard that fruit is a great snack for you? Me too. Maybe you’ve also heard that some of the pesticides they use on produce is kinda scary? Me too. What about fruits or veggies in skins or outer layers that aren’t for eating? Those are safer, right?

The Dirty Dozen is a list of fruits and vegetables that have the most pesticides and residue on them. Non-Organic Pesticides have been shown to cause neurological damage as well as progressive digestive disorders in laboratory analysis. We feel that the produce on this list should be avoided unless grown organically…

1. Strawberries
2. Spinach
3. Nectarines
4. Apples
5. Peaches
6. Celery
7. Grapes
8. Pears
9. Cherries
10. Tomatoes
11. Sweet Bell Peppers
12. Potatoes

The clean fifteen list is composed of produce that is generally recognized as safe, after washing, whether it’s grown organically or not. These fruits and veggies have had less contact with pesticides and by nature of their design, are better protected against free radicals and airborn contaminants…

1. Bananas
2. Avocados
3. Pineapples
4. Cabbage
5. Onions
6. Frozen Sweet Peas
7. Papayas
8. Asparagus
9. Mangoes
10. Eggplant
11. Honeydew
12. Kiwi
13. Cantaloupe
14. Cauliflower
15. Grapefruit

Another helpful tip I discovered was finding bulk food stores and stocking up on multiple tiny bags of organic dried fruits/nuts and organic candies/gummies. Keeping a few bags in my car, some in my backpack and a few in the office drawers keeps me on track in general and less likely to snack on things that aren’t good for me. I don’t need a business vacation to fall off track, sometimes everyday life gets in the way of eating right. Keep in mind your cells totally rejuvenate every seven years! So until we have organic fast food restaurants on every corner, this list will help you keep your body clean, healthy and disease free!

Rachel Stevens
Rachel Stevens


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