How to keep hidden poisons away from your dinner table

Dr. Marc Micozzi has followed nutrition research for decades, and in his Insider’s Ultimate Guide to Outsmarting “Old Age,” he zeros in on one key to healthy aging: Eating organic.

Compared to our parents and grandparents, our daily exposure to synthetic chemicals is astronomical. Nowadays, chemicals are everywhere: In our food, our water, and even the air we breathe.

In fact, conventionally grown fresh produce, dairy, and meat deliver traces of herbicides, pesticides, growth hormones, antibiotics, and other chemicals straight to your plate. And all this can have devasting effects on your health. But opting for organic food can offset those effects—in a big way.

For instance, when researchers from Sorbonne Paris Cité University tracked the eating habits and health records of nearly 69,000 participants for more than four years, they found the following cancer risk reductions linked to organic foods:

  • 86 percent lower risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • 76 percent lower risk of other lymphomas
  • 34 percent lower risk of postmenopausal breast cancer

As the research shows, organic food can make a huge difference in your health. But if you’re concerned that eating organic may be out of your budget, Dr. Micozzi strongly believes that you don’t have to drain your bank account in order to eat well…

How to save on your food bill

Dr. Micozzi’s stresses that you can make your organic food budget go farther by knowing when to go organic.

For instance, he points out that there’s no real need to shell out extra for organic varieties of foods with peels—like avocados, bananas, oranges, grapefruit, etc.

Dr. Micozzi also recommends consulting The Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) annual “Clean Fifteen™” list, which ranks the produce least likely to be contaminated by pesticides.

Listed below is the current Clean Fifteen™ from EWG’s 2020 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™. The list ranks the foods with the least amount of pesticide residue at the top:

  1. Avocados
  2. Sweet corn
  3. Pineapple
  4. Onions
  5. Papaya
  6. Sweet peas frozen
  7. Eggplant
  8. Asparagus
  9. Cauliflower
  10. Cantaloupe
  11. Broccoli
  12. Mushrooms
  13. Cabbage
  14. Honeydew melon
  15. Kiwi

Note that the EWG editors don’t claim these foods to be 100 percent pesticide-free, although some are very close.

The EWG has also compiled a 2020 Dirty Dozen™, and as you can guess, it’s a list of the most contaminated foods. And sad to say, you’ll find many popular items on this list, like strawberries, kale, tomatoes, and peaches. In these cases, it’s well worth it to opt for organic varieties.

Bag the bagged salad greens

Dr. Micozzi offers one more important tip to help you eat healthy on a budget: Don’t bother with the bagged salad greens.

He says, “One of the most wasteful and dangerous (in terms of contamination) food products is pre-packaged lettuce or salads. Why seal your salad in artificial plastic bags when you can buy lettuce and other greens out in the open—where they can breathe and are also watered regularly by the produce staff at your grocery store?

“That’s why I always buy salad and other greens by the head. They’re not only fresher, but they’re less expensive and safer than bagged salads.”

In Dr. Micozzi’s Insider’s Ultimate Guide to Outsmarting “Old Age,” you’ll find many more unique insights and evidence-based strategies designed for a longer, healthier life.

Click here to enroll today, or to keep exploring this integrative learning tool.



“Love Organic Foods? Your Odds for Some Cancers May Fall” HealthDay News, 10/22/18. (

“Clean Fifteen EWG’s 2020 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™” Environmental Working Group, retrieved 8/8/20. (

“Dirty Dozen™ EWG’s 2020 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™” Environmental Working Group, retrieved 8/8/20. (