The Dirty Dozen and The Clean 15

I am all about eating healthy and putting good, green things into my body but there are a few things about this list I just don't get.

For those of you who don't know, the Environmental Working Group, (EWG) publishes a list every year with the new Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen. This year's Dirty Dozen list is to the right.

These are the things that I don't understand:

1. What happened to last year's list? Do some fruits and vegetables miraculously become ok to eat non-organically? Like what happened to blueberries and lettuce? Have farming practices changed that dramatically that we can now eat conventional blueberries and lettuce??

2. Why is there a clean 15 list?? Isn't listing the Dirty ones enough? If we take out the dirty ones, doesn't that automatically mean that the rest of them are clean? In case you wanted to know, the Clean Fifteen list consists of: avocados, sweet corn, pineapple, cabbage, sweet peas, onions, asparagus, mangoes, papaya, kiwi, eggplant honeydew, grapefruit, cantaloupe and cauliflower.

Then there are other questions that I ask, like if the Clean 15 items are GMO, does that make a difference? I suppose this list only relates to pesticide usage and not the origin of the food. Now, you may be asking yourself, why should this list be important to me? Well, pesticides are toxic by design. If your intake of pesticides is high, it could potentially lead to brain and nervous toxicity, hormone disruption, skin and eye irritation and even cancer.

I know some of you may be thinking that eating organic is costly, and you wouldn't be entirely wrong, but I have to admit I have seen organic produce priced the same if not lower than conventional. Rule of thumb: look at your options and make the right decision for your wallet. I will admit, I won't be buying a cucumber for $5 or a bell pepper for $7.99/lb. So, no cucumber or peppers for me!

Then I need to enlighten you one step further: hot house. In Canada, we aren't blessed with countless days of sunlight like in California or Mexico so we have a great deal of "hot house" or green house produce. According to BC Hot House, greenhouses hydroponics accomplish the same primary organic objectives for conservation and sustainability. So maybe I will be eating cucumbers after all! And I'll throw in some cherry tomatoes for good measure!

It's a lot of research, but that's why I'm do the work for you.

Tomato Cucumber Salad

The Goods

1 hot house cucumber, diced

1 pint of cherry tomatoes, cut in half


2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tsp basil

salt and pepper to taste

Cut the vegetables, place in a large bowl. Mix together the dressing. Add to the vegetables. Enjoy!

#healthymeals #vegan #healthyeats #veggiesides #organic #salad

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