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The Dirty Dozen

Did you know that you can slash your family’s exposure to pesticides by 90 percent by avoiding these fruits and vegetables.

According to the Environmental Working Group, everyone should buy the following produce only when grown by organic means, since these are the most contaminated fruits and veges when grown conventionally:

  • Apples
  • Bell Peppers
  • Celery
  • Cherries
  • Imported Grapes
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Potatoes
  • Red Raspberries
  • Spinache
  • Strawberries

Why is the above produce the worst of the bunch? Because their thin skins allow for the most absorption of pesticides, sewer sludge, and other poisons used to grow them by conventional means.

Since we’re making lists, here’s another group of foods you should consider buying organically if you want to avoid consuming chemicals that were banned in the 1970s but are still lingering around.

  • Butter
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cucumbers / Pickles
  • Meatloaf
  • Peanuts (including peanut butter!)
  • Popcorn
  • Radishes
  • Spinach
  • Summer Squash
  • Winter Squash

These foods are thought to be contaminated with pollutants that persist in the environment for decades and are linked to very serious developmental disorders, disease, and cancer.

Are you ready for a little good news? Here’s a list of foods that you can feel reasonably safe in purchasing conventionally grown:

  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Bananas
  • Kiwi
  • Sweet peas – frozen
  • Asparagus
  • Mango
  • Pineapples
  • Sweet Corn – frozen
  • Avocado
  • Onions

I try to buy everything organic but sometimes my budget just doesn’t allow it. It’s good to know I can take advantage of lower priced fruits & veges once in a while without exposing my family to too many poisons.

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[…] Working Group (EWG) evaluated the fresh produce in US supermarkets and identified the “dirty dozen“, fruit and vegetables with the highest levels of pesticides. The Dirty Dozen Guide is also […]

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