I don’t buy organic fruit or vegetables often. It’s expensive and, to be honest, I haven’t done much research into the topic. Last week I set out to be better informed and I’m surprised (and horrified!) at what I found.
The Environmental Working Group has put together the 2012 “Dirty Dozen” list identifying the most contaminated fruits and vegetables.
The EWG recommends buying the following organic fruits and vegetables to avoid harmful pesticides. Of course, buying organic can be very expensive so you may want to pick and choose. For example, if you eat apples daily you may want to switch to organic. If you only eat 1 per month it many not make sense if you’re budget conscious.
Here are the top 14 “pesticide-laden” fruits and vegetables.
During the off-season, Apples are sprayed with pesticide and coated with wax which seals in the pesticide. Plus the pesticides get into the flesh of the apple so peeling the fruit doesn’t help. This is shocking news to us – apples are only picked once a year so some apples sit them stewing in pesticide for up to a year!
Pesticides are mixed with water prior to application, so they’re water soluble. Being a high water content food, celery absorbs a ton of the pesticides so the pesticide is found in the flesh of the fruit making ingestion a given.
Sweet Bell Peppers
Bell peppers fall into the “sealed with food-grade wax” category making them loaded with pesticides. The wax seals in the pesticide making it difficult to wash off
Peaches, Strawberries, Nectarines and Blueberries
Mosquitos love me because of my sweet blood so it makes sense that they also love sweet fruit. As such, they are covered with a TON of pesticides. According to the EWG, every nectarine the USDA tested had a measurable amount of pesticide in them. Yikes!!
Did you know grapes (as a category) have more types of pesticides than any other fruit? According to the EWG, they are sprayed with a whopping 64 different chemicals!
Spinach and Lettuce
Spinch and lettuce are sprayed with seventy-eight different pesticides!!
As with bell peppers and apples, cucumbers are coated in food-grade wax which seals the pesticides in.
Yuk! To prevent spoilage, potatoes are sprayed with toxic compounds to slow down the growing process and keep potatoes from requiring refrigeration.
Green Beans and Kale
Green beans and kale are sprayed with pesticides very toxic to our nervous system. Agriculture laws implemented over the last 10 years have decreased the use of these toxic pesticides but they are still used (not banned yet).