Fremont Area Medical Center

SUM 2013

Spirit of Women magazine is a national publication presented to women by hospitals and their physicians. The magazine provides up-to-date, evidence-based healthcare information and promotes our hospitals as leaders in women's health excellence.

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H E A L T H Y E A T I N G I Eating organic $$ on a budget $$ By Bev Bennett f you prefer organic produce but shy away from it at your local farmers market because you're afraid prices will be too high, try some savvy shopping strategies this summer season. You'll stretch your farmers market dollars to the max when you avoid pesticides where it matters most: Learn which fruits and vegetables are more likely to contain pesticide residues and find out about the farmers' growing practices so you can take advantage of safer options for conventional produce. THE DIRTY DOZEN You can determine which fruits and vegetables may have high pesticide residues by clicking on the Environmental Working Group's website at www.ewg.org/foodnews. The worst offenders, which the environmental organization dubs the "Dirty Dozen," are the items you want to buy organic, according to health experts. Apples topped the list in 2012, followed by celery, sweet bell peppers, peaches, strawberries, imported nectarines, grapes, spinach, lettuce, cucumbers, domestic (not imported) blueberries and potatoes. The EWG also cautions that green beans and kale/greens may contain "pesticide residues of special concern." "That's what I go by—the Dirty Dozen," says Dr. Emily Nabors, affiliated with Iredell Memorial Hospital, Statesville, N.C. You can also check the site for the fruits and vegetables lowest in pesticides and opt for the conventionally grown "Clean Fifteen," including such summer favorites as domestic cantaloupe, asparagus and watermelon. Your family's food habits should also play a role in where you spend your organic produce dollar, adds Dr. Nabors, who specializes in family medicine. "If you only eat nectarines every four months, you don't have that much exposure to pesticides. If you eat an apple a day, that should be organic," she says. FARMERS MARKET STRATEGIES Fruits and vegetables at the farmers market may have less pesticide residue than their supermarket counterparts, according to Victoria Proctor, RN, a health coach affiliated with Northwest Hospital, a LifeBridge Health Center, in Randallstown, Md. In addition, when you shop at a farmers market, you are buying produce when it's in season, says Dr. Pamela Vallejo, Parkview Medical Center, 6 SPI RIT O F WOM EN S U M M E R 2 013 w w w. s p i r i t o f w o m e n . c o m

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