June 8, 2013

Clean 15 & Dirty Dozen


Because we must eat to live, it is important to recognize that nourishment is a basic way to be well and prevent disease. Tools exist to help shoppers choose healthy, affordable food.  The Environmental Protection Agency has conducted extensive research proving that pesticides in our food and water have health and environmental risks. Consumption of certain pesticides is linked to cancer and neural toxicity. To read more, click here

In response to public concern, the Environmental Working Group started publishing a ‘Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce’ eight years ago.  Researchers update the list annually, analyzing pesticide testing data from the Department of Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration to determine which foods retain detectable pesticides after being washed or peeled.  
The guide targets commercially grown food, separating it into two categories. It lists the ‘dirty dozen’: fruits and vegetables that transfer pesticide residues to the human body. It also itemizes the ‘clean fifteen’: produce that does not store pesticides and can be purchased conventionally. This resource strives to help shoppers consume as many fruits and vegetables as possible in an affordable way. For details, click this link

The "Dirty Dozen Plus"
Buy these organically whenever possible.

1. Apples
2. Celery
3. Cherry tomatoes
4. Cucumbers
5. Grapes
6. Hot peppers
7. Imported nectarines
8. Peaches
9. Potatoes
10. Spinach
11. Strawberries
12. Sweet bell peppers
+ Kale and collard greens
+ Summer squash
Kale, collard greens, and summer squash were added to the "avoid" list because they were contaminated with organophosphates, pesticides that pose a particularly high risk to the children's IQ and brain development even at low doses, and organochlorines, pesticides linked to stunted growth in kids.

The "Clean 15"  
These are ok to buy conventionally.
1. Asparagus
2. Avocados
3. Cabbage
4. Cantaloupe
5. Sweet corn
6. Eggplant
7. Grapefruit
8. Kiwi
9. Mangos
10. Mushrooms
11. Onions
12. Papayas
13. Pineapples
14. Frozen sweet peas
15. Sweet potatoes
Pesticide residues aside, there are other reasons it's important to support organic 100 percent of the time, if you can, including protecting farm workers and local waterways from toxic pesticides that don't typically wind up in our food.

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