Saturday, July 9, 2011

Why organic?- The dirty dozen

So many people do not understand the importance of organic foods. It always surprises me how little people know about what is in their foods. Pesticides are not only extremely harmful to our environment, but also to the farmworkers who are exposed to them on a regular basis and everyone who eats them daily (more on that soon when I get into the nitty gritty of pesticides). 

As a quick and easy to guide for people who are not willing, or cannot for whatever reason, eat completely organic foods, the Environmental Working Group made a quick list of the "dirty dozen" foods that are the most important buy organic, as well as the "clean fifteen" (clean list will be added soon). EWG made the list because:
"If you choose 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day from EWG's Clean 15 rather than the Dirty Dozen, you can lower the volume of pesticide you consume daily by 92 percent, according to EWG calculations. You'll also eat fewer types of pesticides. Picking 5 servings of fruits and vegetables from the 12 most contaminated would cause you to consume an average of 14 different pesticides a day. If you choose 5 servings from the 15 least contaminated fruits and vegetables, you'll consume fewer than 2 pesticides per day."
Image courtesy of

So even if you do not understand why pesticides are harmful yet, this quick list can help you choose the safest foods quickly.

1. Apples
2. Celery
3. Strawberries
4. Peaches
5. Spinach
6. Nectarines
7. Grapes
8. Sweet Bell Peppers
9. Potatoes
10. Blueberries
11. Lettuce
12. Kale/ collard greens

For a printable version of the "Dirty Dozen" and "Clean Fifteen" click here.

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