Saturday, December 20, 2008

"Dirty Dozen": Which Produce You Should Really Consider Eating Organic

Interested in cutting your exposure to pesticides found on produce by almost 90%? Who isn't? According to the Environmental Working Group, a non-profit research organization, there are twelve fruits and vegetables that everyone should really consider eating organic. These twelve have been labeled the "Dirty Dozen", and are consistently found to have the highest amounts of traceable pesticide residues, significantly increasing your toxic exposure. These twelve are:
  1. Peaches
  2. Apples
  3. Strawberries
  4. Nectarines
  5. Cherries
  6. Pears
  7. Imported Grapes
  8. Sweet Bell Peppers
  9. Celery
  10. Spinach
  11. Lettuce
  12. Potatoes

By eating these twelve fruits and vegetables organic, the Environmental Working Group found that a person could cut their exposure to pesticides on produce by 90%. That is quite significant! They also came up with a list of the twelve fruits and vegetables with the least amount of traceable pesticides. They are:

  1. Onions
  2. Avocados (my favorite!!)
  3. Frozen Sweet Corn
  4. Cabbage
  5. Broccoli
  6. Asparagus
  7. Frozen Peas
  8. Pineapples
  9. Mangoes
  10. Kiwi
  11. Banana
  12. Papaya

If you are only willing to buy some food organically, then consider these two lists when shopping.

Remember that these lists only consider produce. Your pesticide exposure from produce is minimal compared to foods such as meats and dairy, which, according to the EPA, are significantly higher in pesticide residues. Coffee is another culprit. Another point to consider is that imported fruits and vegetables most likely contain higher amounts of pesticides that are now illegal in the U.S. This is one of those ironic (or is it idiotic) situations where we manufacture tons (literally) of toxic pesticides that we as a nation have deemed illegal to use, yet sell to other countries, and then import the foods sprayed with these illegal pesticides. Hmmmm? Real effective! When buying your produce from conventional farmers, pay attention to where it was grown and opt for grown in USA. Most fruits and vegetables have a sticker that will say where it was grown. Another quick fact about those elusive stickers on produce; a sticker that starts with a number 4 is conventionally grown, while starting with a 9 is organic. All of this information is definitely food for thought!

No comments: