Stickers and Lists

When I set out to blog about healthy eating, it was all because I was beginning to notice what people were eating. Really noticing. These days, I’m all about mindfulness. It’s interesting when you get into that mindset how you really see what’s taking place around you. I read somewhere something to the effect of that if we eat solely for nourishment, our diets would be completely changed! Think about that for a minute…

I am also becoming more and more aware of the type of produce available to consumers like you and me. Did you know that the stickers or the PLU codes on your produce contain some pretty important information like size as well as whether it’s organic, conventionally grown or a GMO product? (Consumer Reports News, 2010)

So unless you are picking that apple off the tree in your backyard, you really know very little about how that apple was grown, right? These stickers contain all this information!

PLU stickers

Now, I love food. I love to play with how the food looks on the plate. I love colour, decadence and intoxicating aromas but I also want to know that what I am eating is not full of pesticides!

So I began looking into this ‘Dirty Dozen, Clean 15’ list I kept hearing about. My observations were that the ‘dirty’ fruits and vegetables are the ones that have a very thin skin or no skin at all, which would make pesticides used easily absorbed. Recommendations for produce on that list would be to buy organic.

Conversely, the ‘clean’ list contains fruits and vegetables that are ‘protected’ by the peel which we don’t eat or have a thicker skin therefore less of the pesticide gets through.

Organic produce is always a healthier choice. Having said that, this choice might not be economical for most people, especially when feeding a family. Choosing fresh over processed is a great first step to a healthier lifestyle and perhaps replacing some conventionally grown produce, especially something from the ‘dirty’ list, a little at a time might be the way to go!

Thoroughly washing your produce is also very important. Washing them under running water is good; soaking 30 minutes in a bath of cold water with a little salt added works great for leafy greens; a water bath with a little white vinegar is effective for apples and pears. That’s what I do 🙂

Have a look at the list and decide what’s best for you and your family. (Food News, 2016)

dirty dozen clean fifteen

I must admit I am learning so much about the foods we eat. I like to think that I grew up in a very healthy environment. My parents emigrated from Italy to Canada for a better life. They brought with them incredible food preparation and gardening knowledge. As soon as the ground was workable, the garlic was planted! Seedlings of various vegetables were started in their own tiny little makeshift pots in the house and the garden was planned out! The only food my parents would shop for was meat and poultry. And some fruit. We always had red grapes and at different times, a fig tree and a pear tree. So you could say that I grew up on organic food. I believe we need to get back to those days and ways of living. Our health depends on it!


Works cited
Consumer Reports News. (2010, May 07). What do PLU codes say about your produce? Retrieved from Consumer Reports News:

Food News. (2016). Retrieved from



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