Jan 12, 2013
The Dirty Dozen… and the Clean 15
Is it really that important to buy and eat organic produce as opposed to conventionally grown? The Environmental Working Group released its “dirty dozen” list this past summer, warning consumers about the most heavily contaminated fruits and vegetables, as well as the “clean 15,” those which are the lowest in pesticide residues. Make sure you purchase ORGANIC for those on the “dirty” list, so you and your loved ones will avoid the nasties!
The Dirty Dozen
- Sweet bell peppers
- Nectarines (imported)
- Blueberries (domestic)
- Potatoes (domestic)
13. Green beans
*May contain pesticide residues of special concern
The Clean 15
- Sweet Corn
- Sweet peas
- Cantaloupe (domestic)
- Sweet potatoes
If you think it’s not really important to avoid the dirty dozen, here is the list of the 49 pesticide residues found in conventionally grown sweet bell peppers:
Cyhalothrin, Total (Cyhalothrin-L + R157836 epimer)
Oxydemeton methyl sulfone
Human Health Effects:
Known or probable carcinogens: 11
Suspected hormone disruptors: 26
Developmental or reproductive toxins: 10
Honeybee Toxins*: 19
|Honeybee on a strawberry blossom
* Beekeepers and some scientists say insecticides known as neonicotinoids are lethal to bees and weaken their immune systems, making them more susceptible to pathogens. They say it could contribute to colony collapse disorder, in which all the adult honeybees in a colony suddenly disappear or die. The disorder continues to decimate hives in the U.S. and overseas. Since it was recognized in 2006, the disease has destroyed colonies at a rate of about 30 percent a year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Here is an image that you can click on to take you to a page which you can print out in order to have the dirty/clean list handy when you’re grocery shopping! REMEMBER, what you purchase counts as your voice as a consumer. The more people who purchase healthy foods, the more agribusiness will be affected for the better!
Helyn’s Notes: Note that sweet corn is on the “clean” list, however commodity crop corn used for animal feed and biofuels is almost all produced with genetically modified (GMO) seeds, as is some sweet corn sold for human consumption. Since GMO sweet corn is not labeled as such in US stores, EWG advises those who have concerns about GMOs to buy organic sweet corn. Soybeans are also not on this list since it is a produce only list, however, soy is also commonly a GMO crop. So always purchase organic soy products, such as tofu and soymilk.