Don’t you just love how more and more stores have really decked out their produce departments? Some use wooden crates and handwritten signs to make it feel more like a farmers’ market, while others go all out with intermittent rain showers, complete with storm-like sound effects. But make no mistake about it; while the produce department can seem like a magical place filled with brightly colored fruits and vegetables, it is also home to some very dangerous poor foods as well.

The trick to making sure you get all the essential micronutrients your produce has to offer is to buy it and eat it as quickly as you can after it has been picked. While this would have been a lot easier to do 70 years ago when many Americans had backyard gardens, depending on location and the current season, you may be better off getting out of the grocery store and purchasing your produce from a local grower.

In fact, based on the countries of origin we have seen stamped on many of the food boxes being delivered to the countless grocery stores across America, the produce from your local farmer is likely delivering a lot more of the micronutrients you are looking for. Kids love to pile in the car and go to the farm, and it’s a great way to teach them where food comes from and how it is grown. Bottom line: Local means more micronutrient dense.

Purchasing both organic and local produce is going to increase your micronutrient levels, but how do they fare when it comes to steering you clear of problematic ingredients that can put your health at risk?

Whether you’re buying your produce from a local farmer or from your local grocer, there are three potential dangers you are going to want to evaluate before purchasing any product: pesticide residue, GMOs (genetically modified organisms), and irradiation.

Picking the perfect produce is a no-brainer when you use our Fab 14 and Terrible 20 Safe Shopping Guide! It will help you avoid all the GMOs in the produce department as well as identify which produce should be purchased organically, due to high pesticide residue. Additionally, it shows which produce items have very low pesticide residue and are safe to buy conventionally. In fact, by only purchasing the foods on the Fab 14 list conventionally and anything on the Terrible 20 list organically, you can reduce your exposure to dangerous, micronutrient-depleting pesticide residue by 80 percent. Amazing, right?

Here's how it works…

  • THE FAB 14: On a budget, choose these conventionally grown. They are listed from best (lowest pesticide content) to worst (highest pesticide content)
  • THE TERRIBLE 20: Always buy these organic and avoid them at restaurants, unless specifically listed as organic (listed from highest pesticide content to lowest and includes GMO produce).

Right click on the image below to print a copy of our safe shopping guide, one for you, and one for a friend!

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You can find more about picking the perfect produce in our new book, The Micronutrient Miracle. It’s our 28-day plan designed to help you not only become micronutrient sufficient, but also to lose weight, increase your energy, and reduce disease.

We’ve added a new category to our safe shopping guide, and it's found in The Micronutrient Miracle, we are calling it the Tweens. These are the fruits and vegetables that fall somewhere in the middle— not as Fab as they could be, but not that Terrible, either. We have listed them for you from least pesticide laden (i.e., honeydew melon was next on the Fab 14 list) to more pesticide laden (i.e., cherries were next on the Terrible 20 list). When you pick up your copy of the book, take a few minutes to examine the foods on each list!

Over the 28-day Micronutrient Miracle program, we will teach you to implement our Good, Better, Best strategy when choosing all of your fresh, frozen, and canned produce. We’ll also give you some tips on how you can get to know your local farmer!


How to pick perfect produce #caltonnutrition