The Environmental Working Group has released its seventh installment of the “Dirty Dozen” and the “Clean 15.” Which list do your favorite fruits and vegetables end up on?
The Environmental Working Group evaluated 53 fruits, vegetables and herbs and their pesticide loads. They used information collected by the USDA and FDA from 2000 to 2009. Food samples were evaluated using six different factors to determine how many pesticides were present on each food, and how much. The produce samples were washed and peeled before evaluation. This means the results show how many pesticides are on the foods directly before we eat them.
Pesticides have been linked to cancer, nervous system toxicity, hormone disruption and IQ alterations in kids. The general public expects the food they purchase from their local grocer to be safe to eat. Immediate damage is not evident after eating these foods. Since pesticides are created to kill organisms on our food, the residual of these chemicals could be affecting cells in our bodies as well.
The new “Dirty Dozen” offenders are as follows:
• Sweet Bell Peppers
Most disturbing about this list is these foods seem to be the most common, most well known fruits and vegetables. These foods are found in almost every grocery store and available to many different demographics. Although the conventional form of these foods is available everywhere, the organic form may not be. Low-income families and individuals who are attempting to eat healthier may purchase these foods without knowing the high pesticide level. Also, all you green smoothie drinkers out there, be sure you purchase organic greens!
On a better note, check out the “Clean 15”:
• Sweet Corn
• Sweet Peas
• Sweet Potatoes
These foods can be purchased conventionally with less worry about pesticides. If all five servings of fruits and vegetables were chosen from this list, the consumer can expect to only eat two or fewer pesticides throughout the day. Eating five servings from the “Dirty Dozen” may lead to consumption of about fourteen pesticides.
Looking to incorporate more “Clean 15” foods to your daily life? Try out these recipes!
Image credit to Creative Commons user doug88888