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Does EVERYTHING need to be organic?

June 14, 2012

Liz Farsaci is another one of my homebirth heroes. She feels that all women should have the opportunity to be empowered by birth.  In this photo, we are outside of the San Francisco Public Library where both of our photos were displayed during the month of May. The project was called, “Making Mother’s Visible.” This “pop-up” installation was created by the International Museum of Women to acknowledge and honor women in different cities around the world. You can check out the show here.

So… Liz and I were having lunch today and she asked my opinion about organic foods. In general, I believe that we all (pregnant or not) should eat organic, local, seasonal, and sustainable as much as we can. We are so incredibly lucky to live here in California where the produce is so abundant, vibrant and healthful. But, there are times when organic is either unavailable or just plain old too expensive. The Environmental Working Group created two categories to help us choose wisely if we have to consider buying conventionally farmed food. They are called the Clean Fifteen and the Dirty Dozen. The Clean Fifteen are those foods that can be bought even if farmed conventionally because these foods consistently have lower overall levels of pesticide contamination. The vegetables least likely to test positive for pesticides are onions, sweet corn, asparagus, sweet peas, eggplant, cabbage, sweet potatoes and mushrooms.  The Dirty Dozen are foods that are heavily sprayed, and therefore have a high pesticide residue load. The Dirty Dozen should be avoided if you can’t find them from organic sources. Worst offenders are apples, strawberries, peaches, domestic nectarines, imported grapes and domestic blueberries. Nearly all the studies on which the guide is based tested produce after it had been rinsed or peeled.

Here is the Environmental Working Group Guide

Here is where you can sign up for food news alerts by email and find a pdf version (and an app too!) of the chart. Copy and carry it with you at all times (as well as your midwife’s phone number!)

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One Comment leave one →
  1. June 16, 2012 5:13 pm

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and the food list, Maria! Now I know what I should definitely buy organic!

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