In 2010, President Barack Obama’s Presidential Cancer Panel issued a report on how people can reduce their environmental cancer risks. This report detailed a number of useful findings regarding how we create environmental risks for cancer based on our modern lifestyles. In particular, it showed that the pesticides we use on our crops are major risk factors for cancer. Based on this research, a non-profit known as the Environmental Working Group came up with a list of twelve fruits and vegetables most likely to contain traces of carcinogenic pesticides (the “Dirty Dozen”) and fifteen fruits and vegetables (the “Clean Fifteen”) least likely to contain traces of carcinogenic pesticides. While buying only organic fruits and vegetables would solve the problem of having to worry about cancer-causing pesticides in our food, that can be expensive. So, for those in Tacoma concerned about the health risks of non-organic food, the Clean Fifteen is a list of those fruits and vegetables we can buy without having to make sure the produce is organic, helping us save money and still eat safely. This article will take a look at the Clean Fifteen, including what fruits and vegetables are on that list, and give you some options as to where to find quality organic produce while shopping locally. Be sure to take a look at the related Dirty Dozen article, which contains the list of those fruits and vegetables most likely to include trace cancer-causing pesticides.
The Clean Fifteen List
The Clean Fifteen includes the following fruits and vegetables:
- Sweet corn;
- frozen sweet peas;
- honeydew melon;
- cauliflower; and,
While this list of clean fifteen items is excellent for avoiding pesticides, it should be noted that this list does not take into account genetically-modified foods (GMOs). Corn, in particular, has been subjected to substantial genetic modification, and if you want to avoid GMOs, you should still consider purchasing organic produce.
Where to find quality organic produce in Tacoma
The Pacific Northwest is an outstanding region for those looking to shop organically. Here in Tacoma, there are a number of excellent options for those seeking organic produce, even with the loss of the Tacoma Food Co-op. Here is a list of the best options for organic produce in the area:
The Tacoma Farmers Market (Seasonal)
A seasonal option, generally available from May to October (at its Broadway location), the Tacoma Farmers Markets are located throughout the city and offer organic produce at accessible prices (and offers special benefits for those shopping organic with EBT cards).
Wild Hare Organic Farm (Farmstand is seasonal; CSA is year-round)
Wild Hare Organic Farm offers organic produce from its 20-acre family farm on River Road at the produce stand it operates every year from June to October. It also offers a year-round Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, where you can purchase regular bundles of fresh vegetables straight from the farm.
Early Bird Farm (seasonal CSA)
Early Bird Farm is a newer farm located in Tacoma, providing organic produce and eggs from its Puyallup River Valley location. Along with being at local farmers markets throughout the Seattle-Tacoma corridor, the farm offers a seasonal CSA for people who wish to support local agribusiness and get fresh, organic produce.
Terra Organics (year-round food delivery)
Terra Organics is the food delivery service started by Tahoma Farms founders Dan and Kim Hulse in Enumclaw, Washington. Terra Organics offers not only organic produce, but also coffee, tea, and bakery items. Terra Organics delivers to residents in King, Pierce, and Thurston Counties.
Marlene’s Market and Deli
Marlene’s Market – located in Federal Way and Tacoma – a Pacific Northwest staple, offering not only organic groceries and health and beauty items but also a full-service organic deli.