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The Healthy Dish

Clean Eating Starts With Being A Conscientious Consumer

Learning to shop “clean” takes a bit of research and the ability to interpret food labels. However, it is important that we are conscious consumers, especially when it comes to what we eat.

The first step is to read all labels including the ones on your fresh produce. Fruits and vegetables have PLU codes that reflect how the food was grown.

-Five-digit codes beginning with the number nine indicate organically grown food.

-Four-digit codes indicate conventionally grown food.

Eating organic and GMO free is the way to dine, but this can be expensive. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) publishes a “dirty dozen” list of foods, which includes items that should be purchased organically to avoid high levels of pesticides. Here is the list of foods EWG announced last year that should be purchased as organic produce:

- Apples

- Peaches

- Nectarines

- Strawberries

- Grapes

- Celery

- Spinach

- Sweet bell peppers

- Cucumbers

- Cherry tomatoes

- Snap peas

- Potatoes

- Hot peppers

- Kale/collard greens

It is important to be an aware consumer. Read all packaged items to make sure you're avoiding chemical additives and food coloring. Try to buy food in its natural form. Make this investment in your health!

(Image via Flickr/Roving-Aye!)