A Health(ier) #Thanksgiving

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As you begin to plan and prepare for your holiday meals this year, I always consult the helpful tips from the Environmental Working Group.

With so much confusing information on food labels these days, we could all use some help navigating our way through the grocery store. From cranberry sauce to dessert, EWG’s Food Scores database can help you make healthier, greener choices for you and your family this Thanksgiving.

Are you concerned about pesticides on fruits and veggies? You can EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce to avoid the Dirty Dozen – the non-organic fruits and vegetables that are highest in pesticide residues – and choose items from the Clean Fifteen list instead.

If  stuffing is a holiday favorite,  did you know that store-bought stuffing mixes often have 30 or more ingredients, including preservatives from EWG’s Dirty Dozen list of food additives? More than half of the stuffing rated on Food Scores are likely to contain ingredients of high or moderate concern, so we recommend making your own or using EWG’s Food Scores to pick one of the top-scoring products.

Watch out for that bird. Turkeys are often fed antibiotics and growth promoters in their feed to encourage development of lean muscle instead of fat. (No wonder they look the way they do!) Consider going organic and antibiotic-free this year and check out the EWG guide to decoding turkey labels to help you choose a better bird this Thanksgiving.

Also, avoid the problematic preservatives BHA and BHT, which often turn up in potato mixes that have added bacon, butter or cheese. If you make your mashed potatoes from scratch or from a box, add your own fixings at home instead. Check the EWG’s mashed potato guide.

Trust me, getting into the holiday spirit is more fun when you know you’re serving up food that’s better for your friends and family – and the environment.

And, you’ll even feel better the day after your big feast.

Happy planning.


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