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

  1. Apples
  2. Celery
  3. Sweet bell peppers
  4. Peaches
  5. Strawberries
  6. Nectarines (imported)
  7. Grapes
  8. Spinach
  9. Lettuce
  10. Cucumbers
  11. Blueberries (domestic)
  12. Potatoes (domestic)
Plus*
     13. Green beans
     14. Kale/Greens
*May contain pesticide residues of special concern
The Clean 15
  1. Onions
  2. Sweet Corn
  3. Pineapples
  4. Avocado
  5. Cabbage
  6. Sweet peas
  7. Asparagus
  8. Mangoes
  9. Eggplant
  10. Kiwi
  11. Cantaloupe (domestic)
  12. Sweet potatoes
  13. Grapefruit
  14. Watermelon
  15. Mushrooms

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:

Imidacloprid
Methamidophos
Carbendazim (MBC)
Thiabendazole
Acephate
Metalaxyl
Chlorpyrifos
Oxamyl
Endosulfan II
Dicofol p,p’
Bifenthrin
Methomyl
Captan
Endosulfan I
Permethrin cis
Myclobutanil
Tebufenozide
Carbaryl
Dicofol o,p’
Permethrin trans
Cyromazine
Endosulfan sulfate
Thiamethoxam
Dimethoate
Omethoate
o-Phenylphenol
Esfenvalerate+Fenvalerate Total
Cyhalothrin, Total (Cyhalothrin-L + R157836 epimer)
DCPA
Chlorpropham
Diflubenzuron
Tetrahydrophthalimide (THPI)
Carbofuran
Malathion
3-hydroxycarbofuran
Pymetrozine
Diphenylamine (DPA)
Fenvalerate
DDE p,p’
Iprodione
Vinclozolin
Propiconazole
Forchlorfenuron
Fenamiphos sulfoxide
Cyfluthrin
Imazalil
Oxydemeton methyl sulfone
Trifluralin
Dicloran

Human Health Effects:
Known or probable carcinogens: 11
Suspected hormone disruptors: 26
Neurotoxins: 13
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. 
Healthy Trails!
     Helyn

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