Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Dirty Dozen

The post I thought I wrote way back when was about the Dirty Dozen... basically the 12 foods you should really eat only if you can find them organic because of the large quantities of pesticides used in their growing.

You can reduce 80% of your exposure to pesticides and harsh chemicals by doing this. Sited on the daily green website, "If consumers get their USDA-recommended 5 daily servings of fruits and veggies from the 15 most contaminated, they could consume an average of 10 pesticides a day. Those who eat the 15 least contaminated conventionally grown produce ingest less than 2 pesticides daily."

  • Meat - believe it or not is known to be filled with pesticides... besides hormones. And the government even fails to test meat most of the time. The muscles tend to be clean but the pesticides are found in the fat. The worst are in pork fat & chicken thighs. Avoid this buy buying meat fed only organicly. Grass-fed meats are the best because they eat a natural diet for their species.
  • Milk - 12 different pesticides have been shown in milk... and surprise! pesticides are even found in human breast milk. You truly are what you eat. Buy full organic milk ... especially for those growing kids!
  • Coffee - Most coffee comes from countries that don't even regulate ... well anything. Buy organic and buy fair trade to ensure the proper an ethical treatment of employees.
  • Celery - by far the worst thing to buy ... 64 pesticides were found in celery in a test done in 2010. They have no protective skin, not allowing the proper washing off of pesticides before consumption. Buy celery organic or buy an alternative.
  • Peaches- 62 pesticides were found in celery in a test done in 2010 (they were the worst in 2009). They are delicate and are sprayed with pesticides OFTEN.
  • Strawberries - #3 on the list with 59 pesticides found. If you buy out of season it's even worse because they are imported from countries that don't have stringent rules against pesticide.
  • Apples - Down from No. 2 in 2009, apples still rank among the dirtiest fruits and vegetables, with 42 pesticides
  • Blueberries - 52 pesticides
  • Nectarines - 33 pesticides
  • Bell Peppers - 49 pesticides
  • Spinach - 48 pesticides
  • Kale - which is a 1st and unusual
  • Cherries - 42 pesticides (and surprisingly, US cherries were found to have 3 times more pesticide than imported)
  • Potatoes - 37 pesticides
  • Imported grapes - 34 pesticides
  • Leafy greens - 51 pesticides
  • Carrots - 26 pesticides
  • Pears - 28 pesticides
  • Tomatoes - though not terrible... can be sprayed often and do have a thin skin so... try your best and use judgement... and wash well
Now onto the other end of the spectrum. Not all of us are flowing in cash or have the space to grow our own organic garden. As such, these are a list of foods that contain low levels of pesticide and can be bought non-organic with little fear.
  • Onion
  • Avocado
  • Sweet Corn
  • Pinnapple
  • Mango
  • Asparagus
  • Sweet Peas
  • Kiwi
  • Cabbage
  • Eggplant
  • Papaya
  • Watermelon
  • Broccoli
  • Sweet Potato
  • Tomatoes
Many of these foods found there way onto the OK list because they have thick skins blocking the pesticides from the fleshy edible interiors. Still... wash them well before slicing. Others made it onto the list because they face little by way of bugs during the growing period and therefore get sprayed very little.

I hope this helps manage your grocery shopping in a healthy way!

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