What to Buy Organic

 Image courtesy of rakratchada torsap/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of rakratchada torsap/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

As a runner, you know nutrition plays a part in at least half of your efforts to train properly. Following a diet full of fruits, vegetables and lean proteins affects your workouts and your races. You need to fuel your engine for it to work to the best of its ability.

Granted, it would be nice to eat all organic and enjoy the flavors of farm-to-table for every meal, but that’s just not feasible. However, you can make some changes to reap the benefits of eating organic without having to hit up your banking account.

Each year, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) produces its Shopper’s Guide to help consumers discover which fruits and vegetables contain the most pesticides, allowing you to choose wisely when purchasing your produce. Recently, the EWG published its 2014 list. Here’s what to look out for–you’d be surprised:

(According to EWG, it analyzed pesticide tests of 48 popular produce items.)

1. Apples
2. Strawberries
3. Grapes
4. Celery5. Peaches
6. Spinach
7. Sweet bell peppers
8. Nectarines imported
9. Cucumbers
10. Cherry tomatoes
11. Snap peas imported
12. Potatoes

All of the above are very common foods, especially number 1.

What about the good news? What produce is least likely to contain pesticides? Luckily, they are foods favored by runners, which include avocados, sweet corn, pineapples, cabbage, frozen sweet peas, asparagus, mangoes,  kiwis, eggplant, grapefruit, cantaloupe, cauliflower and sweet potatoes.

Runners love avocados for its good fat and sweet potatoes for its dense, nutrient-rich carbohydrates–most ultra runners I know will even eat these while running.

So what are you to do? Frequent farmer’s markets for produce like apples and grapes, commonly found at such markets. You’ll be purchasing organic products and helping out local farmers as a bonus. Many grocery stores also now sell organic produce; you just need to look at the label.