Each year, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) tests dozens of fruits and vegetables for pesticide residue. In most cases, tests are conducted on washed, peeled foods. So if foods appear on this list, the pesticides they contain frequently can’t be washed off. They impact every part of the food, which then impacts your body when you eat it. Why should you care about pesticides?
As acknowledged by U.S. and international government agencies, different pesticides have been linked to a variety of health problems, including:
- brain and nervous system toxicity
- hormone disruption
- skin, eye and lung irritation
The reality is that we are surrounded by toxins in our environment every day, as we talked about last month with the Environmental Cancer Report. So everything you can do to reduce your level of pesticide intake is a good thing. The EWG recommends buying only organic fruits and vegetables on the Dirty Dozen list. Can’t buy organic? How about growing your own or looking for natural suppliers who don’t use chemicals but may not be able to afford the organic certification. Check with farms and farmer’s markets in your local area.
The Dirty Dozen
6. Nectarines (imported)
7. Grapes (imported)
8. Sweet bell peppers
12. Kale/collard greens
The Clean 15
6. Sweet peas
9. Cantaloupe (domestic)
13. Sweet potatoes