The Dirty Dozen…what you need to know

What is the “dirty dozen”? This is a list of the fruits and vegetables that have the highest amount of pesticide residue. Some argue that this list “falsely conveys” the risks of ingesting pesticides so that people will not buy conventional produce. My feeling is that if these sprays are killing bugs, polluting our drinking water, and linked with an increased risk of lymphoma, leukemia, and cancer (as reported by the NIH) you do NOT want to be ingesting them—or feeding them to your kids, where doses of toxins are much more concentrated based on their lower weights. Organic produce have far fewer pollutants and more vitamins and minerals too.

However, you do NOT need to buy everything organic. Apply what I call the “common sense rule”. Foods such as melons, avocados, and pineapple have very low amounts of pesticides because the sprays only touch the rind or peel and do not permeate the fruit. If they only have conventional bananas at the market, go ahead and buy them—assuming you are not eating the peel! But if it is strawberries, which are very porous and absorb the pesticides, pay  the extra couple bucks for organic. 

Final tip: No matter where you buy your produce always rinse it thoroughly before eating or serving it. 

Dirty Dozen:









Bell peppers



Green beans

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