Do you know about the Clean Fifteen and the Dirty Dozen? It sounds like a western, but it’s two excellent resource guides for purchasing produce that has been treated with pesticides. They tell you which crops are the dirtiest and which are the cleanest so you can make an informed decision when making a purchase.
Each year, the Environmental Working Group updates this list based on the treatment of food crops, mainly the spraying of pesticides. The EWG is a community of 30 million strong, working to protect our environmental health by changing industry standards.
Pesticides have been used for decades on crops to ward off unwanted bugs and pests. But over the years research has shown there are significant harmful side effects from these pesticides, such as cancer. To avoid fruits and vegetables with toxic pesticides you'll want to buy your fruits and vegetables from the dirty dozen list organic not conventionally grown. The dirty dozen are the fruits and vegetables heavily sprayed with pesticides.
If you cannot purchase organic produce in your area, soak your inorganic fruits and vegetables in half a cup of salt and six cups of water with fresh lemon juice from one lemon. This mixture will remove the pesticides and wax from the outer layer of your items, therefore, decreasing the number of pesticides you ingest. Rinse thoroughly after soaking them for about ten minutes and dry. Or you can purchase a produce cleaner. I use Veggie Wash, as seen in the pictures when I’m short on time. ￼￼
Is organic produce better to eat than conventionally grown produce? The short answer is yes. BUT if you cannot find it in your local supermarket, it’s better to eat it than skip eating your fruits and vegetables. If buying inorganic, wash it thoroughly using one of the methods above.
The freezer section of your local market is a good place to find organic produce. There are many good varieties. Flash-frozen will produce the freshest flavor.
Farmers' markets or stands are also an excellent source. I have learned that calling local farms is a great way to find out if they grow their food organically. AND just because they do not have the certified organic FDA stamp of approval does not mean their product isn’t organic. Ask the farm you’d like to purchase from how they grow their produce and how they spray or treat for pests. You’d be surprised to find out how many farms are now growing food organically.
This is the 2022 Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen Lists to help guide you when purchasing your produce:
Dirty Dozen 2022:
Kale, collard & mustard greens
Bell & Hot peppers
Clean Fifteen 2022:
Sweet peas (frozen)
*A small amount of sweet corn, papaya, and summer squash sold in the United States is produced from genetically modified seeds. Buy organic varieties of these crops if you want to avoid genetically modified produce. Get EWG’s 2022 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™ here
I use fresh organic fruits and vegetables during my juicing classes. You will get nothing but the best when you attend.
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