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It really seems lately that I have been seeing a big swing to the holistic side of health rather than conventional medicine. 

More and more people are getting on the "natural" bandwagon these days and that is great news! I have been preaching this gospel since Day 1 and will not stop now and it is great to see that people are being swayed in that direction. 

BUT, we have to be careful, real careful. Why? Because just like any industry, the health and wellness industry is all about big bucks and lots of people are profiting because of it. You can find it just about anywhere, "Organic", "All Natural", "Hormone free" and much much more. 

So here we are trying to be good and trying to make the right decisions for our families and it may all be for nothing? Not completely, but there is certainly some clever marketing out there. 

One area that is extremely important and that we need to pay extra attention to is our fruits and vegetables. We all know by now that raw or steamed veggies and fruits can have major health benefits due to the many nutrients it contains. It is always recommended that your veggie to fruit intake ratio should be 2:1, meaning eat twice as many veggies as fruits. This is primarily due to the fructose that is in fruits. While we know that it is natural sugar, it is still important to keep our fructose intake to <25 grams per day. This is especially important if you are diabetic or have blood sugar issues.

Okay, we are aware that fruits and veggies are great for us but how clean are they when we actually get them in our hands? According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), there is a huge difference between conventionally grown produce (non-organic) and organic produce. They state that there are probably over 50 different chemicals by the time it hits the produce section in your supermarket! Obviously, I am pushing for organic products here but if you decide organic is not for you, please don't stop eating produce all together. Better to have pesticides than no fruits/veggies at all. 

The EWG also goes on to list the cleanest and dirtiest produce after extensive research. Here are the findings:

Dirtiest (Buy these organic)
1
Apple
Apples
2
Celery
Celery
3
Strawberries
Strawberries
4
Peaches
Peaches
5
Spinach
Spinach
6
Nectarines
Nectarines
- imported
7
Grapes
Grapes - imported
8
Red Pepper
Sweet bell peppers
9
Potatoe
Potatoes
10
Blueberries
Blueberries
- domestic
11
Lettuce
Lettuce
12
Kale
Kale/collard greens

Cleanest (Lowest in Pesticide)

1
Onions
Onions
2
Sweet Corn
Sweet Corn
3
Pineapple
Pineapples
4
Avocado
Avocado
5
Asparagus
Asparagus
6
Peas
Sweet peas
7
Mango
Mangoes
8
Eggplant
Eggplant
9
Cantelope
Cantaloupe
- domestic
10
Kiwi
Kiwi
11
Cabbage
Cabbage
12
Watermelon
Watermelon
13
Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes
14
Grapefruit
Grapefruit

Some of the conditions that have been linked to long term pesticide use include Parkinson's disease, male infertility, breast cancer, prostate cancer, stillbirths, learning disabilities and some neurological conditions.

Hopefully, this should shed some light on the difference between organic and non-organic produce.  It is essential and absolutely worth the extra money to buy organic.
My suggestion on how to do this are to plant your own garden or if that is not possible, then find local farmer's markets(there are a ton in this area) to get your produce needs met. 
You are taking a big risk with you and your family's health by using non-organic produce.
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