The 1234 to Buying Fruits and Vegetables

Guidelines and Tips to Buying Toxic-Free Fruits and Veggies

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On a recent visit to my native country, Dominican Republic, I was astounded to hear that the use of pesticides and herbicides was slowly becoming common practice by many of the native farmers. Having family members who have made their living in agriculture I have been able to see how this and many other "modern" trends are slowly making their way onto the island. The use of these health destructive toxins on our produce has dramatic short-term and long-term effects on our bodies and in order to develop a healthy, vital body it is in our best interest to learn how to find produce with zero or minimal exposure to these dangerous chemicals. Fortunately, there are several organizations that have made it their mission to educate the public on how to do just that. The Environmental Working Group ( is an entire online resource dedicated to the education of consumers on what their water, food, and our environment are being exposed to. It can be fun and inexpensive to start lowering your overall toxic load, so here are 4 Tips to help you get started:

EWG's 2012 Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce

1 Remember this simple rule "the thicker the skin, the less toxic it is". 

Mangoes are going to contain and absorb less chemicals than blueberries due to the thickness of the fruit's skin.

2 To Limit your toxic load make sure to buy organic when shopping for the Dirty Dozen

Dirty Dozen

3 Local does not mean organic, so read the sticker on the produce and remember 


4 Digits means it was conventionally grown. 5 Numbers starting with a number 8 means they are Genetically Modified (GMO) and 5 Numbers starting with 9 means they are ORGANICALLY grown.

Introduce one new fruit or vegetable to your diet every time you shop for food. Usually the most common fruits and vegetables are the most toxic, so by trying a new fruit/vegetable you can limit your exposure to the "bad" stuff and reward your taste buds.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me -  Naief Medina


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