Green Food

Organic Fruits and Vegetables
  • Your best choice: fresh and organic fruit and vegetables and whole foods
  • Eat 5-9 servings of fruit and vegetables each day
    1. Buy organic varieties of the fruit and vegetables on the Environmental Working Group "Dirty Dozen" guide.
i. Organic food is produced without synthetic pesticides or fertilizers, genetic engineering, anti-biotic hormones, or irradiation.
ii. Products labeled "Organic" have 95% organic ingredients. Products labeled "Contains Organic Ingredients" have 70% organic ingredients.
  • Eat raw food. It provides the most nutrients.
  • Buy locally at farmer's markets and through Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) for the freshest and healthiest food.

Buy these organic:

  • Peaches    
  • Apples    
  • Sweet bell peppers
  • Celery    
  • Nectarines    
  • Strawberries
  • Cherries    
  • Lettuce    
  • Imported grapes
  • Pears    
  • Carrots    
  • Kale
Genetically Modified Organisms
Avoid Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in food. Unfortunately, they are present in 60% of processed food and may have negative effects on human health.
  1. For example, high fructose corn syrup is made from genetically modified corn and may contribute to increased appetite and a release of more fat into the bloodstream by the liver.
  2. Visit the Center for Food Safety for more information on GMOs
  3. Foods certified as "Organic" cannot have GMOs.
View the Label Guide on Yahoo.

Third Party Verified
Not Verified
"Organic" - 100% organic feed, no growth hormones, synthetic fertilizers, antibiotics, genetic engineering, irradiation, sewage sludge, or artificial ingredients
"No Antibiotics Administered" or "Raised Without Antibiotics" - neither preventative nor medicinal antibiotics were administered
"Certified Humane" or "Free Farmed" - animals have access to sufficient food, water, space and shelter, but may still contain hormones and antibiotics
"No Chemicals Added" - meaningless because everything is a chemical, either natural or man-made
"No Additives" - almost meaningless and not regulated
  "Free Range" or "Cage Free" - animals had access to the outside for an unspecified amount of time, may contain hormones or antibiotics
"Fair Trade" - farm workers receive livable wages and ethical treatment, certain chemicals are not used
"Grass-fed" or "Pasture Raised" - animal were fed some amount of grass and may still contain hormones and antibiotics

"Fresh" - product never reached a temperature of 26 degrees F.

  "Natural" - product contains no "artificial" colors, preservatives, or ingredients

  • Three quarters of the world's fish species are either caught at max levels or are in "collapse," meaning a 90% decline in species population
  • Wild predator fish may have high levels of pollutants and mercury
  • Use this guide when selecting seafood
  • In some cases farmed fish varieties are healthier in others no
    1. Fish farmed in Chile, Canada and the US is better than from Europe
    2. Farmed salmon has higher concentrations of pollutants than wild salmon.
    3. Chunk light tuna has less mercury and is usually yellowfin or skipjack which reproduce faster
  • Look for Marine Stewardship Council "Fish Forever" label or buy Alaskan salmon which is always wild caught.
  • Avoid products which have rBST, a hormone that increases milk production in cows, but may have adverse, including carcinogenic, effects on humans. It is not approved in Canada, EU, or Australia.
    1. Organic dairy products will not have rBST.
  • Drinking skim milk reduces the presence of dioxins (a carcinogenic pollutant)
Other Items
  • Herbs and Seasoning
    1. Buy sea salt which is harvested in more environmentally friendly ways than regular salt, the production of which often contaminate nearby waterways
    2. Use honey or agave syrup instead of sugar, the industrial production of which results in rainforest deforestation and ecosystem degradation
    3. Grow your own herbs in a window sill or garden
  • Snacks and Sweets
    1. Toasting or baking starchy food produces a carcinogenic compound called acrylamide
i. To avoid it: toast less, eat less French fries and potato chips, and eat baked goods that are chewy rather than crispy
i. Food with less than .5 grams of trans fat does not have to list it in the nutrition table.
  • Water
    1. Reduce the amount of bottled water you drink
i. Bottled water is not regulated as much as tap water
ii. 1999 study showed that 25-40% of bottled water was tap water
iii. The plastic bottles add high amounts of waste
    1. Use cold tap water to cook and drink because bacteria can form at the bottom of the water heater and heavy metals can become corroded in the hot water pipes.
  • Coffee and Tea - look for "Certified Organic" "Fair Trade" and "Shade Grown" labels.
  • Cookware - Anodized aluminum and cast iron are best. Aluminum takes less time to heat while cast iron can be heated very hot, does not need to be washed much, and forms its own non-stick surface. Also copper cookware lined with stainless steel or tin works well.
    1. Non-stick coating such as Teflon may be toxic if overheated or ingested after being scratched.
  • Containers
    1. Do not store water in plastic for a long time it will leach the chemicals.
i. Glass and ceramic is better for food and water
    1. Avoid #3 plastic, PVC, which is often found in shower curtains and shrink wrap. Its life cycle is highly toxic to people and the environment.
    2. Avoid #7 plastic which has BPA, a chemical that can cause cancer and disrupt hormonal activity.
1. Buy products in cardboard containers instead of tin cans.
    1. Producing a plastic 16 oz bottle releases 100 times the toxins into the atmosphere than when making it out of glass.
    2. Do not microwave plastic.
Plastic Numbers Guide
Plastic #
Soda bottles, peanut butter jars
Recycled into carpet, shopping bags, and sometimes into new bottles
Milk and water jugs, detergent and shampoo bottles
Recycled into containers or plastic lumber
Plumbing pipe, shower curtains, toys, outdoor furniture, shrink wrap, salad dressing containers
Avoid. PVC can be highly toxic. It is rarely recycled and can contaminate other recyclables.
Bags, trash can lining, dry cleaning bags
Rarely recycled because of its light weight and high cost of transport
Yogurt and other containers, straws
Rarely recycled because of low volume
 Styrofoam, single use utensils, CD cases, packing materials
Avoid. Almost never recycled, toxic, and often found littering pristine environments.
Food containers, tin can lining Tupperwear, corn based plastics
While the standard #7 contains BPA and cannot be recycled, the corn based products can be composted.