Wednesday, April 11, 2018

The Dirty Dozen and Clean 15

I was surprised how many people have never heard of the 'Dirty Dozen' and the 'Clean 15'. If your brow is furrowed with confusion right now... my case in point!! 

Each year, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) releases the "Dirty Dozen", a list of the most pesticide-laden produce. EWG bases the list on tests done by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The 2017 annual report found a single strawberry sample with 20 different pesticide residues. Researchers also found DDT, a neurotoxic insecticide banned in the USA, in an alarming amount of spinach samples.

A "Clean 15" list is also included in the report, identifying the non-organic produce least likely to be contaminated with pesticide residues. I advise to choose and grow organic as often as possible. Washing may remove some of the residue but systemic pesticides are inside the produce and can still carry pesticide residue even after being washed and peeled. A good rule of thumb is to always eat lots of vegetables but choose organic when possible. Especially when it comes to Dirty Dozen items.
Local, Organic ~ From the Denman Saturday Market
This list should in no way deter you from eating fruits and vegetables, but it should make you aware and cautious of modern chemical farming practices. Using chemicals to kill weeds, microbes and bugs has numerous unwanted side effects including killing soil health and beneficial microbes. Pesticides are linked to dozens of health problems and other issues. Also, even low levels of pesticide exposure can be harmful to infants and young children. When possible, parents should take steps to lower children's exposure to pesticides while still feeding a diet rich in fruits and vegetables.

The EWG’s 2017 Dirty Dozen List

Strawberries
Spinach
Nectarines
Apples
Peaches
Pears
Cherries
Grapes
Celery
Tomatoes
Sweet Bell Peppers
Potatoes

The EWG’s 2017 Clean 15 List

Sweet corn*
Avocados
Pineapples
Cabbage
Onions
Frozen Sweet Peas
Papayas*
Asparagus
Mangoes
Eggplant
Honeydew
Kiwi
Cantaloupe
Cauliflower
Grapefruit

       *Buy organic to avoid GMO Papayas and Sweet Corn

Till next time ... Bon App├ętit!

Photo by Sally Rae