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Family Nutrition: Deciding about the “Dirty Dozen”

Earlier this week the Environmental Working Group (EWG) published their latest list of the dirty dozen and the clean fifteen.  The list specifies which fruits and vegetables have the most (dirty dozen) and least (clean fifteen) pesticides.  Data was collected from 2000-2009 from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food Drug Administration (FDA) ranking product on six factors which tell us how many pesticides are in the fruits and vegetable we consume and are recommended to consume daily.  I thought it was interesting when I read that most samples are even washed and peeled prior to testing.

There are many thoughts that pesticides are dangerous to humans and can cause neurological damage, ADHD, Cancer, and also disrupt the endocrine system.  I searched for specific research on the subject matter and had a hard time finding something concrete, however many suggest that more studies need to be completed with strong hypothesis’ explaining why.

It is suggested that people buy organic forms of the dirty dozen as they are considered to be the most toxic from a pesticide standpoint. Organic products do not utilize pesticides and if you need a refresher on organic products read my Organic blog from 2/17/2011 for a reminder.  Do you find organic are too expensive?  Look into growing some of the dirty dozen in your own garden.

Multiple physicians have stated that pregnant women and children under 6 have the biggest health risks with pesticides.  I have two toddlers myself, and although the research isn’t concrete yet, I’m not willing to take the risk.  Utilize this reference when shopping for your fruits and veggies and look out for the Droid and Iphone apps that will be coming soon.


Dirty Dozen
Clean Fifteen
1. apples
1. onions
2.  celery
2.  corn
3. strawberries
3. pineapples
4. peaches
4. avacodo
5. spinach
5. asparagus
6. nectarines (imported)
6.  sweet peas
7.  grapes (imported)
7.  mangoes
8. sweet bell peppers
8.  eggplant
9.  potatoes
9.  cantaloupe (domestic
10.  blueberries
10.  kiwi
11.  lettuce
11.  cabbage
12.  kale/collard greens
12.  watermelon

13.  sweet potatoes

14.  grapefruit

15.  mushrooms

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