Healthy Living Blog

Organic vs. Conventional Produce: Just Eat It!

Tina Miller, MS RDN, Food and Nutrition Expert, Integrative Health Professional. EMU Eagle Nutrition Services 160 Rackham Hall Ypsilanti, MI 48197 734.487.6572 chhs_nutrition@emich.edu, to schedule an appointment please visit: https://officeofnutritionservices.acuityscheduling.com/schedule.php

 

The Alliance for Food and Farming, a non-profit group that represents both Organic and Conventional farmers, supports the advice to just eat more produce whether it’s organic or not (www.SafeFruitsandVeggies.com).  Pesticide residue studies along with epidemiological studies show that the level of pesticide residue on conventionally grown produce is far below the established tolerance levels and that these foods make significant contributions to population health and longevity.

The FDA and USDA support produce consumption based on evidence from the most recent pesticide residue studies:

  • Over 99% of samples tested had residues well below tolerances established by the Environmental Protection Agency.
  • Pesticide residues pose no risk of concern for infants and children.
  • The results provide consumers’ confidence that the products they buy for their families are safe and wholesome.
  • The U.S. food supply is one of the safest in the world.

A few facts:

  • 20,000 Cancer cases could be avoided if HALF of all Americans ate just one more serving of fruit and vegetables each day. (Journal of Food & Chemical Toxicology)
  • Premature death has been shown to be decreased by 42% in those who ate 7 or more servings of fruit and vegetables each day.
    • Those who ate only 3 servings per day reduced their risk of premature death by 14%.
  • Low levels of pesticide exposure have had no impact of health risk over time based on population studies.
  • In the iconic words of Weird Al Yankovic: Just Eat It!  (fruits and veggies that is!)

My challenge to you:  Think before you eat. Each eating occasion provides an opportunity to add a fruit or vegetable serving.  Every time you eat add some form of produce: Fresh, frozen, dried, canned (in juice) or juice (limit to 8 ounces per day).

Fruit and Veggie-licious Recipes

Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Serves: 4

Ingredients:

1 Tablespoon Avocado or Vegetable oil
1/2 large red bell pepper, seeded and very thinly sliced
1/2 cup diced white onion
1 Tablespoon ginger root, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 to 2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
1/3 cup Thai Peanut sauce
1 Tablespoon seasoned rice wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon Meijer reduced sodium Soy sauce
10-12 Romaine lettuce leaves (or Bibb lettuce leaves)

Directions:

  1. Heat skillet over medium-high heat add oil bell pepper and onion; cook 3-4 minutes, until just tender.
  2. Reduce heat to medium.  Mix in minced ginger and garlic; cook 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add cooked chicken, Thai peanut sauce, vinegar and soy sauce.  Mix-well, cooking until heated through, about 5 minutes
  4. Spoon chicken mixture (about 1/4 cup) into center of lettuce leaves.  Top with 1/4 cup apple-cabbage slaw (recipe follows) and enjoy!

Apple-Cabbage Slaw

Serves 6

Ingredients:

2 cups broccoli-slaw or power-slaw shredded vegetable mix
1 large Fuji, pink lady, honey-crisp or jonagold apple, cored and diced
1/2 cup celery, diced
1/2 cup thawed frozen shelled edamame (green soybeans)
1/4 cup (approx. 2) green onion, diced

Dressing:

1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt (or light sour cream)
2 Tbsp. pineapple juice
1/2 tsp. prepared yellow mustard
1/8 teaspoon celery seed

1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine coleslaw mix, apples, edamame, celery and onions.
  2. In a small bowl, mix yogurt (or sour cream), pineapple juice, mustard and celery seed.  Gently toss dressing with slaw mix.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Nutrition Information (per serving): 303 Calories, 10g Fat, 1g Saturated Fat, 27g Carbohydrate, 596 mg Sodium, 4g Fiber, 25g Protein