Plan your meals and choose foods that are less likely to be contaminated using the following shopping and meal planning tips:
- Aim for a balanced, low-fat diet with lots of fruits, vegetables and grains. A balanced diet keeps children in tip-top shape so their bodies remove toxins as efficiently as possible and their organs and brain develop normally. Adopt The New Green Diet.
- Reduce consumption of animal foods and choose low-fat versions. Some of the most toxic food contaminants accumulate in meats, fish, eggs and dairy products, especially those that are high in fat. You needn’t abandon these foods altogether, especially since they contain essential nutrients. In preparing and cooking:
- Trim all fats and skin on meats.
- Broil meats and fish so that the fats drain away from the meat. Avoid frying, which will lock in the contaminants.
- Choose fish carefully. Many fish species contain toxins that can cause cancer and brain damage, including mercury, PCBs, dioxins.
- Go organic. Certified organic foods have been grown and processed without the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. See Where to Find Organic Foods.
- Choose foods that are less likely to contain toxins. According to the Environmental Working Group, these are Eggplant, Cabbage, Kiwi Fruit (Subtropical and Tropical), Asparagus, Sweet Peas (Frozen), Mango (Subtropical and Tropical), Pineapples, Sweet Corn (Frozen), Avocado, and Onions.
- Wash all fruits and vegetables well and peel them to remove surface chemicals.
- Breastfeed your infant as long as possible. While breast milk exposes infants to chemical pollutants that concentrate in human fat, such as DDT and dioxin, experts agree that it is the healthiest thing to feed your baby. The American Academy of Pediatricians Policy on Breastfeeding recommends that infants be breastfed for at least one year. For more information on breast milk and its contaminants, see the Natural Resource Defense Council’s report on breast milk.