I found an article that outlines the “dirty dozen” that you should always buy organic and the “Clean 15,” which typically don’t have high levels of pesticides so they may not be worth the money. I found these lists from www.thedailygreen.com.
Here’s a quick summary of the dirty dozen. Stay tuned in the next few weeks for more on the Clean 15.
THE DIRTY DOZEN
The dirty dozen is a list of fruits, vegetables and other food you should buy organic based on EWC because they have the highest pesticide residue. According to EWC, you can reduce 80% of pesticide intake just by avoiding the most contaminated fruits and vegetables.
With no protective skin, it is almost impossible to wash off the chemicals that are used on conventional crops. No. of pesticides detected? 63 Can't find organic? Safer alternatives include broccoli, radishes and onions.
Multiple pesticides are regularly applied to these delicately skinned fruits in conventional orchards. No. of pesticides detected? 62. Can't find organic? Safer alternatives include watermelon, tangerines, oranges and grapefruit.
If you buy strawberries out of season, they're most likely imported from countries that use less-stringent regulations for pesticide use. No. of pesticides detected? 59. Can't find organic? Safer alternatives include kiwi and pineapples.
Like peaches, apples are typically grown with the use of poisons to kill a variety of pests, from fungi to insects. Scrubbing and peeling doesn't eliminate chemical residue completely. No. of pesticides detected? 42. Can't find organic? Safer alternatives include watermelon, bananas and tangerines.
New on the Dirty Dozen list in 2010, blueberries are treated with as many as 52 pesticides, making them one of the dirtiest berries on the market.
With 33 different pesticides found on nectarines, they rank up there with apples and peaches among the dirtiest tree fruit. Can't find organic? Safer alternatives include, watermelon, papaya and mango
7. Bell Peppers
Peppers have thin skins that don't offer much of a barrier to pesticides. They're often heavily sprayed with insecticides. No. of pesticides detected? 49. Can't find organic? Safer alternatives include green peas, broccoli and cabbage.
New on the list for 2010, spinach can be laced with as many as 48 pesticides, making it one of the most contaminated green leafy vegetable.
Traditionally kale is known as a hardier vegetable that rarely suffers from pests and disease, but it was found to have high amounts of pesticide residue when tested this year. Can't find organic? Safer alternatives include cabbage, asparagus and broccoli
Even locally grown cherries are not necessarily safe. Cherries grown in the U.S. were found to have three times more pesticide residue then imported cherries. No. of pesticides detected? 42. Can't find organic? Safer alternatives include raspberries and cranberries.
America's popular spud re-appears on the 2010 dirty dozen list, after a year hiatus. America's favorite vegetable can be laced with as many as 37 pesticides. Can't find organic? Safer alternatives include eggplant, cabbage and earthy mushrooms.
Imported grapes run a much greater risk of contamination than those grown domestically (only imported grapes make the 2010 Dirty Dozen list). Remember, wine is made from grapes, which testing shows can harbor as many as 34 pesticides. Can't find organic? Safer alternatives include kiwi and raspberries.
WHAT TO DO?
- Make a cheat sheet to take with you for things you should buy organic and what some safer alternatives are.
- Stay tuned for the clean 15 coming soon!
REMEMBER: OWN WHAT YOUR FAMILY EATS by making healthy choices that can save you money.