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I’m Jen Hansard, mom of two, ultra runner and lover of green smoothies, coffee & tacos. I took my family's health into my own hands while broke and without health insurance...and have helped 1 million+ other families along the way.

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The 2013 Produce Buying Guide


Simple guide to learn what produce is high in pesticides

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The EWG released their 2013  Dirty Dozen organic produce list, which helps me decide what produce I should definitely be buying organic. There are 14 produce items that should be non-negotiable. And yes, I know a dozen is 12…but this year they added 2 more items that have large amounts of pesticide exposure, yet they still wanted to keep that catchy name.

Not only are organic produce free from chemical pesticides, but a Washington State University study found that organic strawberries have higher levels of antioxidants and Vitamin C than conventional strawberries. And why does this matter? Well, antioxidants help protect your body against cancer and fight signs of aging. Suddenly skipping the conventional strawberry sale and buying the more expensive organic ones doesn’t seem so hard, right?

This list is very helpful, but I must say there are still times when I don’t buy accordingly (I have a long way to go on my clean eating journey). I am still figuring out ways to add more organic produce into our kitchen without breaking the budget. I’ve had the best luck at Trader Joe’s, Super Target and farmer’s markets. You can also get super fresh and affordable organic produce through CSAs and organic produce co-ops.

Do you follow the Dirty Dozen list? What is your favorite way to buy organic produce?

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  1. Teresa

    January 18th, 2016 at 8:48 am

    My kids and I are excitedly going through the list. Favorite? We have enjoyed each one so much, Beginner’s Luck surely made it seem easy from the get go. None of us are bigs fans of grapefruit, but your recipes encourage us to try something new and to be open to the new flavors on each of tgem. Thank you for helping me teach my children the importance of living healthy.

  2. Anthony

    March 28th, 2016 at 12:51 am

    Thanks ladies,
    I was hoping you have more information in reference to pesticides and how much pesticide is used and how often is the produce sprayed or is it filtered into the irrigation of the plant throughout its life span. What other requirements does a plant need? This would help us understand more of what we a putting into our body. Right now if you don’t buy organic we are drinking pesticide. I grew up on a agricultural plantation and we move because the pesticides were making my father a little heady. There was no education on the application of pesticides you just mix it up and off you go it didn’t sit write with my father to be spraying pesticides and then on selling to the people. You can’t really have an organic farm next to a conventional the forces of nature will blow residual pesticide at the time of application. He would always spray the crop when wind was low. I love to see more research in pesticides we are drinking when not organic.

  3. SGS Rawkstar

    March 28th, 2016 at 6:27 pm

    Hi Anthony,

    Thank you so much for reaching out + sharing your interest in learning more about pesticide practices. We agree it’s definitely important to speak with your local farmers, market, + produce providers to knowing exactly how your favorite fruits + leafy greens are being grown. You may be interested in checking out EWG’s website it’s all about know where your food comes from + how to protect your health!

    Here’s the link…

    http://www.ewg.org

  4. jane mitchell

    April 1st, 2016 at 3:57 am

    I’d like to know your recommendations for some vegetable ‘washes’ that help those of us who cannot afford all-organic everything. Also I’d love some tips on how a single person, buying lots of healthy fresh veggies/fruits, can avoid WASTE. I can’t devote my entire day to organizing how I will use up ALL I’ve bought… and it kills me to throw out very expensive produce. Ideas on what’s best and EASILY frozen would be really helpful!! thank you for all you know and share with us!!

  5. Jade

    April 22nd, 2016 at 4:37 pm

    Hiya I just wanted to say.as a single person I also struggled with this problem.I have freeze everything I can.also when I use half an apple I rub it in a lemon then I store it with other cut up veggies in a tub with the lemon…seems to keep all fresh.also you can build a mini version of a turnip shed (Google it)is have amd it keep my veggies fresher for longer…I have not chucked anything out in ages good luck x

  6. SGS Rawkstar

    April 25th, 2016 at 6:10 pm

    Hi Jane,

    We’re right there with you! We hate seeing good produce, go bad. That’s why we personally love using our freezer. It helps keep our favorite fruits, veggies, + leafy greens at their peak freshness.

    Learn how we freeze our leafy greens for green smoothies here…

    https://simplegreensmoothies.com/tips/freeze-leafy-greens

    Looking for a rawkin’ veggie/fruit wash? Look no further than this wash from Cafe Johnsonia, it inspired our own all-natural wash included in our new book!

    http://cafejohnsonia.com/2013/04/diy-how-to-make-natural-fruit-and-veggie-wash.html

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