Now that summer is almost here, the Victor crew thought it a good idea to revisit the Dirty Dozen guide for this year.
Topping the list this year is strawberries. This means they have more pesticides than any other produce and they should be purchased in organic form. In fact everything on the list should be purchased organic. In order the list is:
Sweet bell peppers
Strawberries are high on the list because of the dozens of pesticides used with some of them including chemicals linked to cancer and reproductive damage. Poisonous gases are also being used in the soil, including nerve gas. Spinach has moved to second place because of a pesticide banned in Europe.
The Clean 15 that you can eat without worrying about pesticides are as follows:
Sweet peas (frozen)
Some sweet corn, papayas, and summer squash are made from GMOs in the U.S.
Find out more from EWG.org (Environmental Working Group.)
Like we mentioned last week, if you tend to snack, keep some veggies and fruits ready for snacking on in your refrigerator. Make it easy to grab some carrots, celery, peppers, apple slices, etc.
Teach your family the difference between healthy snacks (fruits and veggies) and occasional snacks, like cookies, desserts, sweets.
Feeling hungry? Try water with your snacks. Add slices of fruit or a splash of 100% juice for some flavor.
Instead of filling a cookie jar, fill a basket with fruit.
Try some plain yogurt and add your own fruit. This way you control the amount of sugar added. Try a little honey instead.
Here are some more things to try to stay on track.
Add vegetables into your regular dishes. Try adding spinach or zucchini to pasta or peppers or other vegetables to tacos. Add spinach, peppers, and onions to omelets. Put a handful of baby spinach leaves in your sandwich.
Don’t be afraid to try fresh, frozen, and canned fruits and vegetables. Fresh produce in season is the best. Frozen would be second best option as there is nothing added. For canned vegetables be aware of the sodium content in them and choose the lower sodium option if you see them. For canned fruit, try fruits with no added sugar, packed in water, or packed with 100% juice (not syrup).
If you pack meals for others in your family, add some cut up fruits and veggies. Keep some fruits and veggies to use as snacks in your refrigerator.
Fruits and vegetables always taste and look better when you can buy them locally. But how can you tell what is in season? Does it matter where you live? The Victor crew set out to find where we can get this information. We found some interesting sites with just this information.
On this page, there is an alphabetical list of fruits and vegetables with the season they can be found. They also have separate links to see lists by season or region. If you click on a vegetable, asparagus for example, it takes us to a page with a list of articles about asparagus, how to cook it, how to trim it, and some recipes.
This site will give a seasonal food of the week along with a list of what is in season now.
The Unites States Department of Agriculture should know! Here you find a list broken down by season. When you click on a food, you get a page with Fact Sheets, recipe sheets, how to cook them from different states and Universities.
This should get you started to eat more local produce.
Latest research indicates that eating more fruits and vegetables may reduce risk of stroke by up to 32%! Stroke is the 4th leading cause of death in the US according to the CDC. People who ate the most fruits and vegetables were 21% less likely to hae a stroke compared to those who ate little fruits and vegetables.
Citrus fruits, leafy vegetables, apples, and pears were specifically linked to this reduced risk of stroke. Other types still need to be confirmed.
Another wake up call to eat healthy.
Jody and Steve Victor