If you’re interested in eating healthy, tasty food, but don’t have a fortune to spend, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has put together a great new guide that will help you eat well and save money. I’m so excited about it, I started writing this column in my head before I even finished reading the guide!
The EWG is a nonprofit founded in 1993 by Ken Cook and Richard Wiles to protect people from health problems linked to toxic contaminants. You’re probably familiar with the EWG’s Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen lists of conventionally grown produce (not organic). The Clean 15 are the lowest in pesticide residues and the Dirty Dozen have the most residues. Both of these lists are really helpful when shopping, but the new EWG guide, Good Food on a Tight Budget, is even better. You can find the guide online here.
Building on the information they gathered and scientific databases they made to create the Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen lists, the EWG scientists added information about nutrition and cost and expanded the food list to create one of the most complete shopping guides ever. Good Food on a Tight Budget lists the most nutritious, most economical, and least polluted fruits, vegetables, proteins, grains, and dairy foods, as well as cooking fats and oils and spices.
For example, if you’re looking for fruits that are low in pesticide residues, high in nutrition and won’t break the bank, the guide recommends avocadoes, bananas, and cantaloupe. Vegetables that pack the most nutritional punch for the lowest cost include broccoli, carrots, Brussels sprouts, and okra. Healthy, economical proteins include fresh or frozen wild Alaskan or Pacific salmon, roast turkey, and chicken with the skin removed.
To create the guide, the EWG reviewed U.S. government surveys and tests on almost 1,200 food items. The scientists looked at food prices, as well as nutrients, environmental pollutants, and artificial ingredients in the foods. Then they chose the top 100 foods that ranked the best overall.
Besides food lists, the Good Food on a Tight Budget guide also includes recipes, menu planning tips, tools to track food prices, and a blank shopping list to help you stick to your budget and your nutrition goals.
The EWG website is a great resource for anyone looking to take steps to reduce breast cancer risk. From pollutants in food and water to questionable chemicals in cosmetics and other personal care products, it’s packed with helpful information. I often look there for inspiration when I’m writing my Think Pink, Live Green columns.
If you check out the Good Food on a Tight Budget guide, let me know what you think! And tell me which recipe was your favorite!