Would it surprise you to learn that an organization called the Environmental Working Group (EWG) actually measures the pesticide residue in produce? Their research enables us to eat organic in a reasonable way.
Each year, EWG reveals the Dirty Dozen and the Clean Fifteen fruits and vegetables. Their research gives us a guide when buying produce or selecting foods when eating out. The Dirty Dozen are the fruits and vegetables which contain the most chemical residues. These should be eaten organic if possible. The Clean Fifteen are the produce with the least chemical residue.
Here is their 2018 list with the lower numbers having the highest residue.
- Sweet Bell Peppers
So strawberries are the dirtiest with the most chemical residue. A single sample of strawberries showed 20 different pesticides. Since blueberries were #16 on this continued list, I also eat them organic since I consume them daily. It’s Costco that enables me to buy these frozen and in bulk for my smoothies. As I say, “A cup each day keeps the doctor at bay!”
Here are the cleanest fruits and vegetables with the lowest numbers being the cleanest with the least chemical residue.
The Clean Fifteen
- Sweet Corn (But not if GMO)
- Frozen Sweet Peas
- Papayas (But not if GMO)
- Honey Dew Melon
Dr. Don Colbert advises that fruits and vegetables with thick peels and skins usually contain fewer pesticides. So keep this in mind, too.
When eating out, I try to select fruits and vegetables from the Clean Fifteen. Asparagus and cauliflower are my first choices. Fortunately, many organic dark green and leafy greens such as spinach, kale, romaine, and arugula are abundant in most grocery stores at reasonable prices. I actually buy a large container of one for my smoothies and another large container for salads each week. That’s a big change for this former “Junk Food Queen!”
If you can’t afford to eat organic from the Dirty Dozen list, then still make eating these fruits and vegetables a priority as they are loaded with antioxidants and phytochemicals which help to fight diseases. Consider buying in bulk especially when frozen. Join a coop or grow some of your own. Also buy from local farmers you can trust. Don’t be afraid to ask what pesticides they use. The smaller farms usually don’t use as many. As more people become educated and demand healthier food, those growing it are driven to make changes.
I hope this helps you to eat organic in a reasonable way. Fruits and vegetables are the most often overlooked keys to building our health and immune systems. Don’t stop eating these due to budgetary concerns. Even the dirtiest fruits and vegetables have much needed nutrition. But if you are in the cancer journey, eat organic from the Dirty Dozen list for sure! You don’t need your immune system distracted by any additional chemicals.
Do you think Adam and Eve used chemicals in the Garden of Eden? Let’s also share great deals we are finding on organic foods. I’ll start. Every time I go to Costco, I buy two pounds of frozen, organic wild blueberries for $15.99, a large bag of organic kale or spinach for $3.99, a fresh pint of organic blueberries for $10.99, and a large bag of organic, sliced apples for $7.99. Again, sharing these tips helps us eat organic in a reasonable way.