EWG’s Guide to a Healthy Holiday Season

By Amy Sawelson-Landes

This year, give thanks with less–fewer pesticides, greenhouse gases and maybe less money.

Small turkeys can be tastier.  And when you cook just what you need, you don’t waste.
1. Try an organic, local or heritage turkey or one raised without antibiotics.  Or embrace a seasonal, climate-smartstuffed winter squash centerpiece instead.

2. Cranberry sauce is super easy, delicious and even more nutritious to make from scratch.  Opt for organic cranberries if you can, because conventional berries are heavily treated.

3. Pumpkin pie is a Thanksgiving tradition, with good reason.  Pumpkin is packed with nutrition, widely available locally and generally low in pesticides.  Baked pears are simple and delightful.

4. White potatoes make EWG’s Dirty Dozen foods because of high pesticide loads, Try nutrient-packed mashed sweet potatoes from the Clean 15.

5. Gravy is delicious but not terribly nutritious. Enjoy it on special occasions as a tribute to the times when our ancestors made gravy for sustenance.  Or try a light, flavorful mushroom ragout instead.

6. Some experts estimate that the average person finishes off the equivalent of three sticks of butter at the Thanksgiving table.  Use heart-healthy and GMO-free oils where you can.

7. Canned green beans are double trouble – they’re on EWG’s Dirty Dozen+ list and high in bisphenol A, the can-lining chemical.   Go for fresh or frozen organic green beans, or revel in cleaner seasonal stars like peas, broccoli and Brussels sprouts.

8. Stuff your stuffing with low-pesticide produce.  Organic apples, organic celery, pears and carrots perk up stuffing and add nutritional punch.  Walnuts and pecans pair nicely in place of chronic-disease-linked sausage.

Learn more about feeding your family well on a tight budget here: Good Food on a Tight Budget

Download the full EWG’s Guide to a Healthy Thanksgiving Infographic


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Combining her passion for food and a lifelong commitment to promoting a healthy lifestyle, Grace O has created FoodTrients®, a unique program for optimizing wellness. Grace O is a fusion chef with a mission: to cook up recipes for sustaining a long and joyful life that are built on a foundation of anti-aging science and her work in the health care industry. Mixing foods and unique flavors culled from a lifetime of travels from Asia to Europe and America, Grace O encourages young and old to celebrate a full life that embraces diversity. Lifestyle tips, age-defying recipes, and secrets of the healing properties of food are the centerpiece of FoodTrients™–all available through cookbooks, e-newsletters, and FoodTrients.com. foodtrients.com
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