If our phones are so smart, how can they help us be healthier? I am sure you have seen apps that count our steps, measure our sleep and track our food. As a health coach, I often recommend these to clients to help achieve their goals.
But what if I told you that the smartphone can be your best friend when shopping in the produce isle?
I hope that by this time, all of you can agree that eating more fruits and vegetables is good for us. With the myriad of dietary advice that is out there, sometimes it is hard to know what to eat – high carb? Low fat? Paleo? Yes, all of these theories are different, but they all have one thing in common – they all tell us to eat more fruits and vegetables.
So let’s assume that you have internalized this advice and are now in your grocery store’s produce isle ready to be healthier. Before you reach for that beautiful, shiny apple, take pause. It may not be as good for you as you thought…
Did you know that over 300 various pesticides, fungicides and herbicides are approved for use on our produce? Many of these are so toxic, that the people handling them have to wear hazmat suits! The World Cancer organization points to these as contributors to certain types of cancer. The American Endocrine society calls them potent hormone disruptors. So what are we to do? How do we eat more fruits and vegetables while limiting the amounts of these toxins in our food?
Smartphone to the rescue. An app called The Dirty Dozen was developed by the Environmental Working Group – a DC-based non-profit (www.ewg.org). Every year they analyze pesticide residue and publish two lists – the dirty dozen and the clean 15. The dirty dozen highlights the 12 dirtiest fruits and vegetables – those with the highest amounts of pesticide; the clean 15 lists those with the lowest. So before you reach for those apples – which by the way have been on the TOP of the Dirty Dozen list for years, consult your smartphone and the Dirty Dozen app. It will tell you to choose the organic variety – organic growers can not use toxic chemicals by law. I know organic can cost more, but isn’t your health worth it?