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Organic VS Not Organic and The Dirty Dozen.

My clients ask: Is it really that important for me to be purchasing organic foods instead of regular foods?

The answer is: it depends.

Some food and even personal care products have harmful ingredients or pesticides if not held to an organic standard.

Processed organic foods are held to careful standards to maintain the integrity of the food or product and its ingredients. Some examples of organic farming include using compost, manure, and crop rotation to keep the soil healthy naturally.

Have you heard of the EWG, Environmental Working Group? They are an organization that has spent the last three decades bringing us breakthrough research and education so we can make smart, healthy decisions. They are the group that puts out annual reports of which foods are the dirtiest and cleanest, in terms of pesticides and toxic ingredients not just in our food, but tap water and personal care products too.

You can download their free app onto your phone and before making a purchase, search the product to see if it is EWG Verified, meaning When you see the EWG VERIFIED™ mark on a product, you can be sure it's free from EWG's chemicals of concern and meets our strictest standards for your health. I have it on my phone and it is easy to just scan a barcode and see if the product would be good for me or not. Download their APP Here.

Here are the CLEAN 15 and the Dirty Dozen:

Dirty Dozen™, EWG's 2021 Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce™ Strawberries Spinach Kale/Collard Greens Nectarines Apples Grapes Cherries Peaches Pears Bell and Hot Peppers Celery Tomatoes

Clean Fifteen™ EWG's 2021 Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce™ Avocados Sweet Corn Pineapple Onions Papaya Sweet Peas (Frozen) Eggplants Asparagus Broccoli Cabbage Kiwi Cauliflower Mushrooms Honeydew Cantaloupe

Being able to read and understand labeling when it comes to organic foods is helpful too. Read this: Organic Product Labeling Decoded:

100% Organic:

All organic ingredients

Any processing aids must be organic

No non-organic ingredients are used

USDA Seal allowed

Must list certification agent (i.e. Oregon Tilth)


At least 95% organic ingredients

The remaining 5% can be non-organic allowed ingredients

All agricultural ingredients must be organic unless not available

USDA Seal allowed

Must list certification agent

Made With Organic:

At least 70% organic ingredients

The remaining 30% can be non-organic allowed ingredients OR non-organic agricultural ingredients

USDA Seal may not be used.

Must list certification agent

In my opinion, purchasing organic for the dirty dozen list is important. Always wash your produce before eating it. Avoid toxins whenever possible. If you have questions send me a message on Instagram! You can find me @marissasylvesterwellness

Marissa Sylvester, RHN

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