Shop smart: “Dirty Dozen” vs “Consistently Clean” food

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV) — When selecting foods for ourselves and our family it is important to learn what foods we should always try to buy organic due to extremely high levels of pesticide residues, the “Dirty Dozen” and those with the least levels of pesticide residues, the “Consistently Clean”. 

Of course, it’s always best to purchase and eat locally grown organic foods but if you need to make educated decisions on conventionally grown foods due to their availability or your budget, read on.

According to the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) analysis of data from over 43,000 tests (Whoa! Glad someone else did all that analyzing and testing for us) on pesticides in conventional produce, over 90 percent of ingestion of pesticides in foods can be eliminated by avoiding the most contaminated foods. Wow! Ninety percent, that is substantial. So, let’s shop smart and keep those chemicals out of our bodies and our children. Avoid the “Dirty Dozen” and feel good about buying the “Consistently Clean”.

The “Dirty Dozen” most contaminated conventional foods are:

  • Peaches (97 percent tested positive for residue)
  • Apples (92 percent tested positive)
  • Sweet bell peppers
  • Celery
  • Nectarines
  • Strawberries
  • Cherries
  • Pears
  • Imported grapes
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Potatoes

The “Consistently Clean” conventional foods are:

  • Onions (90 percent tested negative)
  • Avocados (90 percent tested negative)
  • Sweet corn (90 percent tested negative)
  • Pineapples
  • Mango
  • Asparagus
  • Sweet peas
  • Kiwi
  • Bananas
  • Cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Papaya

“Federal produce tests tell us that some fruits and vegetables are so likely to be contaminated with pesticides that you should always buy them organic. Others are so consistently clean that you can eat them with less concern,” said EWG Senior Vice President Richard Wiles.

So there you have it. Download little pocket guides for each. 

Peach Tree-Margaux Drake
Grown without chemicals and showered with love, one of our peach trees in our kitchen garden.

One last idea from this overall wearing seasoned gardener; growing your own food is not only a great learning experience for kids on many different levels, but you’ll also know exactly how it was grown. You can feel pretty darn good about serving it to your loved ones and eating it yourself. Food grown without chemicals and showered with love. Just a thought as you continue down your road to wellness.

Happy shopping, happy chopping!

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