Thursday, May 15, 2014

Pesticide in Produce

The new 2014 Shopper's Guide to Pesticides from the Environmental Working Group has been released. If you can't afford to buy all your produce organic, then this is a very helpful list. 

For myself, I buy everything organic or I don't eat it. But I'm only one person. I realize most families can't afford to eat completely organic. 

So here's the list to help guide your shopping. 

Produce listed under the "Dirty Dozen" has very high amounts of pesticide and should definitely be purchased organic or avoided. The produce under "Clean 15" has the least amount of pesticides, if you would rather not buy them organic. 

"Dirty Dozen" 
(highest amounts of pesticide, starting with #1 as the worst)

1) Apples
2) Strawberries
3) Grapes
4) Celery
5) Peaches
6) Spinach
7) Sweet bell peppers
8) Nectarines (imported)
9) Cucumbers 
10) Cherry Tomatoes
11) Snap Peas (imported)
12) Potatoes

Some produce with medium levels of pesticide are: 
hot peppers, Kale/Collard Greens, lettuce, cherries, blueberries, pears, tangerines, and carrots.

"Clean 15" 
(not pesticide-free, but the least amount of pesticides)

1) Avocados
*2) Sweet corn  
*3) Pineapple 
4) Cabbage
5) Sweet peas (frozen)
6) Onions
7) Asparagus
8) Mangoes
*9) Papaya 
10) Kiwi
11) Eggplant
12) Grapefruit
13) Cantaloupe
14) Cauliflower
15) Sweet potatoes

*NOTE: Watch out for genetically modified produce. 

Almost all corn is now genetically modified, so unless it says very clearly on the label "Non-GMO" I recommend avoiding it completely.

Some pineapple and papaya are also now GMO. If it doesn't say "Non-GMO" then either avoid it or do the research to make sure it's coming from a safe and reputable source. 

Also, almost all soy products and most tomatoes are now GMO. 

Here's a good article on GMO - what it is and its dangers. 

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