31 Mar Avoid Harmful Pesticides with These Foods!
Eating organic is always a good and healthy idea, but it’s especially important for certain foods. Many extremely common, ‘kid-friendly’ foods, such as strawberries and apples, are the ones that are most often riddled with dangerous chemicals, pesticides, and fungicides that are linked directly to health problems in both children and adults.
To help consumers know what they need to watch for, the Environmental Working Group comes out with a yearly list of the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen – foods farmed with the most and least pesticides, respectively. Recently, they released their 2021 list, which can be found here and here, on EWG’s website.
The Dirty Dozen
These are the most important fruits and vegetable to buy organic. Pesticides bio-accumulate in our bodies and many are stored long-term in our fat cells. Many pesticides are hormone-disrupting and contribute to numerous health problems, as well as actually making us fatter! Neurotoxic chemicals like chlorpyrifos are often found on strawberries or lettuces, as are cancer-causing and development-disrupting chemicals like Iprodione or Dacthal.
Children especially love these fruits and pesticide impacts can be 140 times more harmful in children, due to their small body size and developing brain and organ systems. When you consider the risks, a few cents at the checkout counter is well worth the investment!
- Kale, collard, and mustard greens
- Bell and hot Peppers
The Clean Fifteen
If you are looking for safe and clean foods to consume without worrying too much about their origin, the Clean Fifteen is the way to go. These fruits and vegetables have a lesser pesticide load, so if you are budgeting, and want to skip the organic price tag, these are a safer conventionally grown choice.
- Sweet corn*
- Sweet Peas
- Honeydew Melon
*Some Papaya and sweet corn sold comes from genetically modified seeds, check to make sure if these are truly organic first if you want to avoid GMOs.
By watching out for the Dirty Dozen and including more of the Clean Fifteen in your diet, you can avoid many other harmful, cancer-causing fungicides and pesticides used on traditionally ‘healthy’ foods as well.