Tagged: organic

EWG 2017 Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 Produce List

We all know that buying fruits and vegetables laden with chemicals and pesticides can’t be good. Buying organic can also be expensive. If you can’t afford to purchase all organic food, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) creates a list each year. The Dirty Dozen are the foods most likely to have higher amounts of pesticides. See what the list added for 2017:


My Letter to Trader Joe’s Would be that I Never Felt you From the Start


When we visited Kansas City during one of our trips home last year, I was so excited to shop at the city’s new addition: Trader Joe’s.

For years, I had heard about what a fantastic store this was, especially if you are eating healthy. I had even received some fair trade Trader Joe’s coffee one year for a gift.

We brought coolers and I was prepared to fill my cart with fresh organic produce and shop for healthy alternatives that our rural, locally owned natural food stores don’t carry.

When I lived in the city, we did have a Whole Foods, but I had long boycotted them for a myriad of social infractions, including how they treat their workers and the fact that they (at the time) would not support labeling GMOs or inform people when their products carried them.

Our Trader Joe’s stop was our last errand on our way out of town – I wanted all of those good foods to remain as fresh as possible – and so I entered the store with great expectations.

(Insert fail buzzer here).


Produce Dirty Dozen

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) released its 2014 list of The Dirty Dozen today.

What does this have to do with Living Large? For us, living as sustainable as possible goes hand in hand with our lifestyle.

We buy organic when we can. Sometimes, that isn’t possible, either due to availability or price. That’s when I refer to my Dirty Dozen list to see if we want the produce bad enough to risk the extra pesticide intake.

For example, I will never buy a head of lettuce or apples that are not organic, but I buy avocadoes that are conventionally grown, because they are part of the Clean 15.

“The EPA has not complied in full with the Congressional mandate, for more than a decade EWG has stepped in to fill the void by publishing its Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce.  EWG aims to help people eat healthy and reduce their exposure to pesticides in produce.”

“EWG’s Shopper’s Guide helps people find conventional fruits and vegetables with low concentrations of pesticide residues,” said Sonya Lunder, EWG’s senior analyst and principle author of the report.  “If a particular item is likely to be high in pesticides, people can go for organic.”


The Miracle of Apple Cider Vinegar

If you’ve read Living Large for a while, you know that I’m all about natural solutions if at all possible.

Last year, I was diagnosed with high blood pressure and I was put on a beta blocker to help. I’m grateful for modern medicine, my father died of a sudden heart attack at 58 and I sure do not want to follow in his footsteps.

However, with every medication there is to help our symptoms, the medicine sometimes creates more unwanted side effects.

For me, it was a lack of energy, digestion problems and the inability to lose weight, although I have been on a very healthy vegan diet for over a year.

Enter apple cider vinegar.


Study Doesn’t Convince me of the Benefits of Not Eating Organic

The results of a new study by Stanford researchers this week say that organic food doesn’t have more nutritional value than conventionally raised or grown food.

The response I’ve been hearing from a lot of my friends and our Living Large Facebook community boils down to “duh.”

We’ve been purchasing organic milk and free range organic eggs for over 20 years. Produce when we can get it and meat for well over a decade.

Not because we felt that the nutritional value was higher, but because we were trying to keep as many chemicals off of our tables and from our bodies as possible and because we feel it is a better choice overall for our planet.

Studies have shown that the fresher the produce, organic or not, the more nutrients the produce retains, so we also try to buy freshly picked organic to get more nutritional value and if we cannot get organic, we try to buy freshly picked, but we don’t choose organic over conventional for nutritional value.

News tickers on television screens and headlines all over this week seemed to suggest that the price of organics isn’t worth it.