In all Misner Plan recipes, we recommend organic ingredients. It is important to understand that the label Certified Organic does NOT mean no pesticides or chemicals were used to produce the food. It varies from state to state in the US, but there are a wide variety of chemical sprays and powders permitted on organic crops. For this reason, it is very important to wash fresh produce in a way which will denature whatever chemical residues may be on the skin or peels of your produce.
Here is how Dr. Mohammad taught me to do this:
Soak the produce in a large bowl of purified water with one cup of white vinegar. Drain the water/vinegar mixture after 3 minutes and rinse the produce. Now soak the produce in purified water with 2 Tbsp. of baking soda dissolved in it. Drain the water/baking soda mixture after 3 minutes and scrub the produce thoroughly under fresh, running water. This method will remove chemical residues and kill any bacteria on the peels.
It is important to clean the peels of all your produce before preparing and eating, even the foods from which you normally remove the peel or outer layers, such as onions, garlic, spaghetti squash, oranges, lemons and avocados. Cutting through the unwashed peels can transfer chemical residue to the interior of the fruit or vegetable and further contaminate the produce.
If you cannot purchase organically grown foods in your area, it is important to know which fruits and vegetables are least and most impacted by conventional growing practices. The two charts below are helpful.
The fruits and vegetables which are likely to be the least contaminated by pesticides when conventionally grown are:
• Sweet corn
• Sweet potatoes
The fruits and vegetables which are likely to be the MOST contaminated by pesticides when conventionally grown (these should be avoided unless you can get organically grown) are:
• Cherry tomatoes
• Hot peppers
• Sweet bell peppers
• Zucchini squash
Regarding genetically engineered fruits and vegetables, there are quite a few items in our grocery store produce sections which have been genetically modified (GMO). The best way to be sure to avoid them is to only purchase the organically grown varieties. Organic fruits and vegetables cannot be certified as such if they are genetically engineered.
The produce most likely to be GMO when conventionally grown are:
• Zucchini squash
• Yellow squash
• Green peas
Frozen organic vegetables are fine to eat in small quantites─their nutritional value may not be as high as the fresh vegetables─and canned fruits and vegetables are not permitted on the Misner Plan. Only on rare occasions should fruits or vegetables in glass jars be eaten. They usually are overcooked or have undesirable additives. Fresh organic is always best.
We also recommend organic eggs from pastured, humanely raised hens, as well as free-range, hormone- and antibiotic-free chicken and turkey. Fish should usually be wild-caught, not farmed. Check websites like seafood.edf.org to have the latest, updated information about the qualities of many types of commercial fish. No canned meats are permitted, with the exception of sardines, which are not usually available any other way.
When eating other meats, avoid all feedlot beef, pig and mutton. The conditions in which these animals are raised, how they are fed and what they are medicated with, can make their meats highly toxic to us. Only wild versions of red meat should ever be eaten and then only rarely. Bison, ostrich, pasture-raised lamb, and other wild game are permitted in very small quantities if you have no other conditions which would preclude their consumption.
These guidelines can help you eat in a very clean, healthy way . . . the Misner Plan way!