A common question I hear is whether organic matters. My response is that “yes” it does, but not always.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, one of the most common reasons to eat more organic produce is to avoid harmful chemicals used in growing your food. Numerous studies have shown the link between pesticides and developmental problems in children, as carcinnogens and as endocrine system disrupters, to name just a few.
To help consumers make the safest choices, nonprofit advocacy agency the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has released its 2016 list of the most pesticide-contaminated produce. The Dirty Dozen, part of the EWG’s yearly Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce, is compiled from U.S. Department of Agriculture pesticide residue data on 48 fruits and veggies.
About two-thirds of the produce samples test positive, and strawberries top the list in 2016, followed by apples which ranked at the top for five years in a row.
Per Ken Cook, EWG president and cofounder:
“The bottom line is people do not want to eat pesticides with their fruits and vegetables. That’s why we will continue telling shoppers about agricultural chemicals that turn up on their produce, and we hope we will inform, and ultimately, empower them to eat cleaner.”
Critics of the EWG express concern that the Dirty Dozen may discourage people from eating veggies and fruits. But that is not at all the message the EWG is trying to send.
They want us to eat fruits and vegetables, but also to know which ones have the highest amounts of pesticides, so that given the opportunity – if available and affordable – we can choose organic versions, or steer toward their Clean 15 list, which lists the produce least likely to carry pesticide residue.
To help you with your shopping, I’ve included a copy of both lists here:
To read the full report (and access the list in a pdf) click here.
Wishing you well!
P.S. Need some help with your food choices? I can help you figure out the “good” and “bad” choices you’re making that are affecting your health. Let’s have a chat about how to make the process easy and find out if working together is a good fit. I offer a complimentary session and scheduling is easy with my online booking system: Schedule Now
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