Dr. Kristy Appelhans, Naturopathic Doctor and Sports Medicine Consultant

2035 Westwood Blvd Ste 209 Los Angeles, CA 90025 phone: (310) 281-6926

Choosing Organic Foods

Saturday, September 17, 2011

When choosing an organic product, be sure to look for the USDA Certified Organic seal on the label. This certification shows that the product was grown/prepared without the use of pesticides, hormones, or antibiotics. Research continues to progress to relay a more current and accurate picture of the environmental and consumer impact of these issues. However, there are various health implications of pesticide exposure and consumption including, but not limited to, cancer, nervous system disorders, thyroid dysfunction, and reproductive disorders. Overuse of antibiotics has caused microbial resistance in the environment as well as inside our bodies. In other words, many common â??bugsâ? have developed ways to survive anti-bacterial and antibiotic treatments that were previously used to control microbial growth and the ability for bacteria to cause infections.


Organic foods can be a bit more costly than their non-organic counterparts. However, taking steps to incorporate these products into your diet is well worth the investment. Just in case you are still in a budget crunch, but want to switch some foods to an organic form, focus on foods you consume regularly. For example, if you eat a banana every day or several times weekly, make that an organic choice. Additionally, keep in mind that some produce is typically grown or processes with more chemicals than others. These are often referred to as the â??dirty dozenâ?. Consider the dirty dozen list below on your trip to the produce aisle:


1. celery

2. peaches

3. strawberries

4. apples

5. domestic blueberries

6. nectarines

7. sweet bell peppers

8. spinach, kale and collard greens

9. cherries

10. potatoes

11. imported grapes

12. lettuce (not cabbage)


Alternatively, check out the â??Clean 15â? which are grown with relatively lower amounts of pesticides:

1. Onions

2. Avocados

3. Sweet corn

4. Pineapples

5. Mango

6. Sweet peas

7. Asparagus

8. Kiwi fruit

9. Cabbage

10. Eggplant

11. Cantaloupe

12. Watermelon

13. Grapefruit

14. Sweet potatoes

15. Sweet onions



  1. www.FDA.gov
  2. http://articles.cnn.com/2010-06-01/health/dirty.dozen.produce.pesticide_1_pesticide-residue-pesticide-tests-fruits-and-vegetables?_s=PM:HEALTH
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