I’m sure you’ve heard about the connection between red meat and the deforestation in the Amazon. The use of pesticides on your fruit and veggies causes equally amazing ecological issues. And that’s not to mention the health hazards they represent to us humans directly. There are books written on this topic: change the way you eat and you help heal Mother Earth. These are written by experts. Bottom-line: reducing our impact on the planet is the right thing to do, and that involves a considered shift to organics.
In my view (I’m not an expert; someone just like you trying to do the right thing), there are 3 steps: 1. go organic, 2. stop mean meat, and 3. let’s do vegan. Like you, I am searching for answers, tips and ways to best move a heavily meat eating family towards Utopian munching. It’s not easy. So I opted for metrics and a step-by-step approach. Let me share my findings with you for our first step.
Step 1: GO ORGANIC.
I’ve looked all over till I found this online gem! Here is an excellent, long list of 43 Fruits & Veggies and their pesticides scores, developed by Environmental Working Group. Check them out at foodnews.org. Your donations funds their helpful research.
|RANK||FRUIT OR VEGGIE||SCORE|
|#1 (best)||Onions||1 (lowest pesticide load)|
|#3||Sweet Corn – frozen||2|
|#7||Sweet peas – frozen||11|
|#25||Grapes – Domestic||43|
|#35||Grapes – Imported||65|
|#41||Sweet Bell Peppers||86|
|#43 (worst)||Peaches||100 (highest pesticide load)|
You can use this chart in several way. Avoid high pesticides foods and/or eat only their organic versions. Consider using a wider range of veggies into your cooking, now including more of those that are low in pesticides to begin with. Rinse your fruits and veggies to get some pesticides off. When you go shopping, take a print-out of this blog page, or use the printable wallet size list of ‘dirty dozen’ and ‘cleanest 12’ chart, published by EWG: http://www.foodnews.org/pdf/EWG_pesticide.pdf
In addition, I recommend you start reading a bit every day on holistic healing through the food you eat. I find that when I read on a topic, it becomes more alive for me and I find it easier to ‘stick to the program’ of whatever new idea I’m bringing into my life. In the sidebar here, see my Books for Healers (i.e. that’s all of us, as we can only heal ourselves). I’ve posted some relevant books in my section on ‘Nutrition’.
Furthermore, shop for local produce. It is almost equally important to buy locally when it comes to ‘buying organics to help save the planet’. Research by the University of Alberta, for example, shows that some organic food travels far, hereby accummulating shipping pollution ‘penalty points’. So hit the weekend markets of local farmers, which are fun to visit.
And last but not least: re-program your thinking! Remind yourself with every organic carrot that you munch on, you are doing yourself AND the environment a favor. A good affirmation for those early in the organics-tracks:
“I’m healing my world, bite by bite.”
By Astrid Lee, TherapeuticReiki.com
In the future, I will write about step 2 & 3: ‘How I became a vegetarian’ and ‘All about being vegan’.