Video–Eat Fewer Pesticides

Dirty Dozen Foods You Should Always Buy Organic

The Environmental Working Group (www.ewg.org) is a nonprofit organization that advocates in Washington D.C., for policies that protect global and individual health. Among the many valuable services they provide is a Shoppers’ Guide to Pesticides in Produce. It is based on the results of nearly 43,000 pesticide tests performed on produce and collected by federal agencies between 2000 and 2004. Nearly all of the data used took into account how people typically wash and prepare produce – for example, apples were washed and bananas peeled before testing.

Of the 43 different fruit and vegetable categories tested, these had the highest pesticide load, making them the most important to buy organic versions – or to grow organically yourself:

•Peaches
•Apples
•Sweet bell peppers
•Celery
•Nectarines
•Strawberries
•Cherries
•Lettuce
•Grapes (imported)
•Pears
•Spinach
•Potatoes
Why should you care about pesticides? The EWG points out that there is a growing consensus in the scientific community that small doses of pesticides and other chemicals can have adverse effects on health, especially during vulnerable periods such as fetal development and childhood.

THE CLEAN LIST
Of the 43 different fruit and vegetable categories tested, the following twelve foods do not have to be organic. These had the lowest pesticide load, and consequently are the safest conventionally grown crops to consume from the standpoint of pesticide contamination:

•Broccoli
•Eggplant
•Cabbage
•Banana
•Kiwi
•Asparagus
•Sweet peas (frozen)
•Mango
•Pineapple
•Sweet corn (frozen)
•Avocado
•Onion

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