[dropcap1]N[/dropcap1]ot everyone can afford to buy 100% organic fruit and vegetables. Organic foods tend to be more expensive which is sad; everyone should be able to afford a healthy holistic diet. As consumers, we are left with the decision should I buy conventional or organic. Ideally, you should buy organic but when you can't, you can reduce the pesticide residue exposure substantially by purchasing fruits and vegetables with the least amount of pesticide.
To aid consumers when deciding conventional or organic, the Environmental Working Group created the Shoppers Guide to pesticides in produce. Also, know as the dirty dozen. Recently they released the clean 15, which list the fruit and vegetables with the least amount of pesticide residue.
According to the Environmental Working Group, consumers could reduce their pesticide exposure by 90% simply by avoiding the foods with the most contamination and eating the cleanest. The guide was created from EWG’s research finding from 43,000 test for pesticides on produce by the Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration between 2000 – 2004.
The report goes on to say that if the average consumer ate 12 of the most contaminated fruits and vegetables the person exposes their body to 15 pesticides per day. When the same person is exposed to 12 of the least contaminated fruits and vegetables, they have exposed their body to two pesticides per day. Going organic is the ideal way to go but you could go conventional and feel okay if you follow the Shopper’s Guide. Please keep in mind the guide only measures pesticide residue. There is a growing scientific consensus that small quantities of pesticides may have adverse effect on people especially the vulnerable fetal development, children and adults with weak immune systems. More research needs to be done. Here is the full list of fruit and vegetable ranking. http://www.foodnews.org/fulllist.php
The Shopper’s Guide is available for free and the list is in both English and Spanish.
The Dirty List (Conventional food you should avoid and buy organic )
1. (Worst) Celery
5. Blueberries (Domestic)
7. Sweet Bell Peppers
10. Kale/ Collard Greens
12. Grapes (imported)
The Clean 15 (Conventional food you could buy)
1. (Best) Onions
3. Sweet Corn (Frozen)
5. Mango (Subtropical and Tropical)
6. Sweet Peas (Frozen)
8. Kiwi Fruit (Subtropical and Tropical)
14. Sweet Potatoes
15. Honeydew Melon