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Eat Clean Without Buying Organic Produce

Avoid Pesticides Without Breaking The Bank

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Do organic fruits and veggies really offer more health benefits and are the prices you pay for them justified? After all, the USDA estimates that organically-produced food can cost anywhere from 10 to 30 percent more than conventionally grown food.

Over 90% of people surveyed by Natural Grocers said avoiding pesticides was the main reason for buying organic. And this is valid– 94% of us in the US have detectable levels of pesticides in our urine.

Environmental Health Perspectives, 2004

But can eating organic produce really decrease your body’s pesticide load? Well, several studies found that organic produce did contain far fewer pesticides and heavy metals than conventional produce. And it doesn’t take long to create a profound shift in your body. One study found that people who ate an 80% organic diet for just one-week reduced pesticide residues by 96%.

Br J Nutr, 2014 Food Chem Toxicol, 2014

Buying organic, by the way, also assures you that your fruits and veggies will be non-GMO because genetically modified organisms are never allowed in organic production. I can tell you that studies do indicate that eating GMOs may upset the balance of the microflora in the GI tract, leading to digestive problems and gut damage. GMOs are prevalent in conventional food products.  In 2020, 94% of soybean and 92% of corn crops were genetically modified. So, if you are someone who has lots of digestive issues, choosing organics, for this reason alone, might be a smart choice for you.

Current Microbiology, 2013

FDA, Aug 2022

While the current research on GMOs and cancer risk are inconclusive, when it comes to pesticides—they ARE linked to cancer. Some pesticides can cause hormone disruption or tissue damage—and while one pesticide might impact hormone-driven tissues like prostate or ovarian, it won’t cause issues for the lungs or skin.

For example, higher levels of organochlorines pesticide residues were linked to estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer and found prevalent in IDC breast cancer patients. But the organochlorines were not identified as a risk factor for Estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer. So based on your health challenges,– in a sense,So, based on your health challenges wouldn’t it be great to know which pesticides to avoid or limit?

Environ Toxicol Pharmacol, 2015  BMC Cancer, 2001

This is precisely why a personalized nutrition plan from My Nutrition IQ makes so much sense: You’ll learn which pesticides and environmental chemicals are linked to your specific health concern and you will get a list of foods that contain these chemicals, so you know to avoid altogether or choose organic versions of those foods. Now that’s really investing in your health and saving money, isn’t it?  

You can learn here how to order your own personalized nutrition plan.

There is one more thing to know when it comes to choosing organics. About 40% of people surveyed choose organic produce because they believe it’s more nutritious.

While side-by-side comparisons of organic vs. conventionally grown produce vary—some studies found no differences, others found higher levels of protective plant chemicals in organic produce, there is a bigger picture here. Data from a group of studies shows that organic crops contain up to 2/3’s more cell-protecting plant chemicals and have 48% lower levels of cadmium, a toxic heavy metal. So the benefit of eating organic goes way beyond avoiding pesticides.

Br J Nutr, 2014

Look if you want to be healthy, you need to eat large amounts of produce. Everyone agrees about that. And that means your risk of pesticide exposure will likely be higher than people who don’t eat as many fruits and veggies.

Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr, 2021

I’m going to acknowledge here that often we need to make choices in how we spend our money, especially when it comes to our health. So here are some ways you can decrease pesticides on your plants if you can’t choose organics all the time:

  1. Your personalized plan will give you a list of pesticides and associated food crops to avoid or consider purchasing organic versions.
  2. Follow the general guidelines of the Environmental Working Group – they publish a free list called the Dirty 12 and the Clean 15.
  3. Consider peeling your fruits and vegetables if they are not organic and listed among the dirty dozen. Don’t worry…if you eat lots of produce, you’ll get plenty of other opportunities to consume healthy plant chemicals and fiber (these are significantly diminished when you remove the peels).
  4. Purchase commercial wash (we like Citrus Magic Wash or Biokleen Produce Wash) or make your own. Avoid dish soap or Clorox- for obvious reasons—a weak baking soda solution was found to be the most effective at removing pesticide residues.
  5. Using plain tap water can significantly reduce 9 of 12 pesticides, the same results as using soap and wash products. Just be sure to use a brush on your plants since surface friction is the key to removing harmful pesticides.


Finally, for those of you who are ready to take your health up a notch, but aren’t quite eating the recommended levels of 9-11 servings of produce per day, consider adding a whole food, plant-based plant powder to your diet. The dietitians at My Nutrition IQ recommend a product that has proven health benefits like DNA protection and immunity support. Best of all, these plant powders have been thoroughly tested for chemicals, and pesticides and are certified non-GMO and gluten-free.

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