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    Dirty Dozen Clean 15 | Clean and Mean 18 | When to buy organic

    Dirty Dozen Clean 15 | Clean and Mean 18 | When to buy organic

    I'm often asked which non-organic produce is ok to eat and which to avoid at all costs.

    Ready to hear the answer?

    As you know, we strive to only offer you organic foods at Tanya’s, but the process to become certified is insanely long, so legally we aren’t allowed to go on shouting the word Organic until we have The Soil Association stamp of approval.

    At times I feel like giving up. Why bother paying almost double on organic produce if we can’t even say ‘organic’ on our labels yet? 

    But I know my own values and it’s simply out of the question to start offering you anything less than pure natural food without anything sneaky. Or worse, anything poisonous.

    Lake Maher

    When you get a Tanya’s 'salad bowl with dressing and nuts’, I want you to feel confident that you aren’t getting a ‘salad bowl with dressing, nuts, pesticides, fungicides, a dash of herbicides and a sprinkling of artificial chemicals’.

    Then, there’s the expense of getting certified. 

    This makes me wonder how many farmers out there don’t have a spare £850 to spend on maintaining certification every single year…

    Perhaps their produce is sold in the conventional produce isles even though they use no chemicals or only natural insect repellents. 

    Or perhaps their produce is so attractive to all the insects of the world, that it must be drenched in something to explode the stomachs of those bugs from first lick in order to keep them away.

    (Btw, the main difference between our stomachs and the stomachs of those insects is the size. If we continue consuming mostly conventionally grown produce, it is only a matter of time until we too pay with serious consequences.)

    THAT is the produce you want to avoid at all costs.

    So, how do you know what THAT produce is? 

    The EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™. Dirty Dozen and Clean 15

    In the US, there’s a handy list produced annually by The Environmental Working Group (EWG) called The EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™.  

    Aka Dirty Dozen and Clean 15.  

    The guide ranks pesticide contamination on 48 popular fruits and vegetables and is based on results of more than 35,200 samples tested by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration.

    The top 15 foods with the least pesticides are called the Clean 15, while the 12 foods with the most pesticides are called the Dirty Dozen. 

    CLEAN FIFTEEN (ok to buy if non-organic)

    Sweet Corn*
    Sweet peas frozen
    Eggplant (aubergine)
    Honeydew Melon

    DIRTY DOZEN (only buy these if organic)

    Sweet bell peppers

    *A small amount of sweet corn, papaya and summer squash sold in the United States is produced from genetically modified seeds. Buy organic varieties of these crops if you want to avoid genetically modified produce.

    The Expert Committee on Pesticide Residues in Food (PRiF)

    In the UKThe Expert Committee on Pesticide Residues in Food (PRiF) survey the pesticide residues in food every quarter.

    Not all produce is tested every time, so I’ve taken the summary from (a rather outdated 2005 report by) the Pesticide Action Network UK (PAN) and pulled the data together myself from 2015 and 2016 files for the most current list -

    aka The Clean and Mean 18.

    PRiF monitors popular home-produced and imported food to check for any pesticide residues.  This is done in order to check that:

    -No unexpected residues are occurring in crops (this backs up the statutory approvals process for pesticides)
    -Residues do not exceed the statutory Maximum Residue Level (MRL)
    -Human dietary intakes of residues in foods are within acceptable levels

    The top 18 foods with the least pesticides are called the Clean 18, while the 18 foods with the most pesticides are called the Mean 18. 

    CLEAN 18 (ok to buy if non-organic)

    Aubergine (eggplant)
    Brussels sprouts
    Peas without pods

    MEAN 18 (only buy these if organic)

    Bean Sprouts
    Beans with pods
    Berries: Blueberries
    Berries: Blackberries
    Berries: Strawberries
    Chilli peppers
    Citrus: oranges, grapefruit and lemon if peel is consumed
    Exotic fruit
    Prepared fresh fruit

    *This varies due to season significantly so personally I will always stick to organic.

    These lists are super handy to take with you on your shopping trips or while travelling to know when to buy organic and when it’s ok to buy conventional.

    I hope that in the future, Organic Certification will be Government funded and that the poisons used to grow our crops will need to be listed in the ingredients list of every label by law.

    Healthy toddler food diaries - What I feed my 15 months old in a day

    Healthy toddler food diaries - What I feed my 15 months old in a day

    Lake Maher plant based vegan food diary Today is all about yummy healthy foods for kids! I've had so so many requests to share what I feed Lake ever since she came along nearly 16 months ago, that I've had the brilliant idea of filming a whole day's worth of her food intake. So 'brilliant', that it took me an entire week to film it and then another week to paste it all together. (Mums and dads - I know you hear me!) But I did it and if you're into it, then prepare to see a monthly edition :) In this one short video, I cover everything from making seed milks from scratch to using supplements to three ingredient purees and raw porridges, as well as share my tips on how I keep her teeth clean of dehydrated fruits (it's not with a toothbrush). Enjoy watching and please let me know what you think! Happy Friday! P.S. There is already a post packed with three ingredient weaning recipes, here: http://betterraw.com/2016/08/healthy-baby-weaning-recipes-3-ingredients-less.html P.P.S. The Alkaline Cleanse returns in June! Check your inbox for all the details next week. Here's how to subscribe if you aren't already receiving my updates>>