Do you know about the Dirty Dozen?

Summer is just around the corner, and with it comes some of the most delicious fruits and veggies of the season. But the next time you visit your local farmers market or grocery store, consider opting for organic instead of conventionally grown produce to help reduce your everyday toxic burden

I recently blogged about a study out of RMIT University in Australia that examined that effects of organic diets on pesticide levels in adults. At the end of the two-week study, during which time participants spent one week on an 80% organic diet and one week on an 80% “conventional” diet, researchers determined that just one week on an organic diet was shown to reduce pesticide levels by nearly 90 percent. That’s no small difference! 

One of the biggest complaints I hear is that organic food is too expensive, but selecting veggies that are locally grown and in season can often put the price right around what you’d spend on conventionally grown produce. If you can only buy some organic, below is the most recent Dirty Dozen PLUS™ list of the worst offenders (in terms of pesticide residue) compiled by the folks at Environmental Working Group.

Dirty Dozen:Cucumbers
ApplesCherry tomatoes
StrawberriesSnap peas (imported)
PeachesDirty Dozen PLUS:
SpinachHot peppers
Sweet bell peppersKale/collard greens
Nectarines (imported) 

A word about the Plus category: While kale/collard greens and hot peppers did not meet the traditional Dirty Dozen™ ranking criteria, they were found to be frequently contaminated with insecticides that are toxic to the human nervous system, prompting EWG to recommend buying organic.

Happy—and healthy—shopping! 

Article by Brenda Watson, C.N.C.