An Apple A Day, One Anti-oxidant Away

It feels like I’m back in school again, getting ready for a pop quiz.  What’s the quiz about?  The dirty dozen.  No, not the classic movie…although both involve possible death.

If I had to take a test, I’d flunk right now.  Celery and um, strawberries, and um…

The dirty dozen are the top twelve fruits or veggies treated with the most pesticides.  I hate sing song titles like the Dirty Dozen, the Clean Fifteen, and Meatless Mondays. Must we be subjected to adult nursery rhymes? Is that the only way to keep our attention?  Apparently so.  I may complain about it, but it works. That annoyingly successful marketing tactic helped me remember to look up the dirty dozen of produce and I’m determined to memorize what’s on the list and buy organic.

I can’t afford to be 100% organic, unless I’m dead.  That’s pretty organic! And affordable.  So, I guess I’ll go fully organic when I’m dead.  Unless I’ve had too much chicken with rBst and then it will take my body years longer to decompose.  Oh wait.  I’ve derailed.

When I  looked for a simple list, I found  another annoying, but cute, little sheet with dotted-lines made just for me to carry a pocket-sized version until I can remember grapes and nectarines and…sigh…peaches!

In this case, I get more than a simple grade on a test.  I get to avoid some bad stuff.  Health blogs and news blips and fine print say don’t pass up these fruits and vegetables just because you can’t afford to eat organic.   But if you can, do.  Being just ½ a mile from Whole Foods or Trader Joes means that I have access to these.  Maybe we can afford to be organic where it really counts, like with spinach and lettuce.

One good thing is that the Clean15 doesn’t need my attention.  Why remember them?  Or maybe I’m supposed to eat more of them.  Nah.  Unless they’re a superfood.  But what if it’s a dirty dozen superfood like kale/collard greens and blueberries that boost your immune system but I’m not supposed to give my overactive immune system any help?

Oh my god!  There’s too much to remember.  In the “good ole days”, we just tried to put food with a variety of colors on the plate with our meat and potatoes; now we’re worried about where they’re grown and how they’re grown; whether we’re getting our anti-oxidants, our flavonoids, and our omega3’s, while at the same time trying to avoid GM (genetically modified) foods and the classic carb overload.  My, how the world has changed.  I know it’s time for me to change outdated habits and eat more lettuce; especially since a national survey found that my home region near Eastern Kentucky had the worst eating habits of the nation (oh, so much to be proud of!).

I think the old saying,’ an apple a day keeps the doctor away’, should be revised.  Because it doesn’t, and might have the opposite effect.

Standing in the grocery store yesterday wondering whether to buy the grapes on-sale, I thought…is this one of the foods I”m supposed to buy organic?  Without my pocket-sized helper, I was forced to remember the list I had been practicing.

I guess the real test will come later.


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