When you head to the super market to do your weekly shopping, be sure to know the facts! The Environmental Working Group also known as EWG has the latest list of fresh fruits and veggies that are now topping the Dirty Dozen list. If you don’t know what the Dirty Dozen list is, I’ll explain. The Dirty Dozen is a list of fresh fruits and veggies that when tested showed the highest levels of harmful pesticides. EWG has been working to provide consumers with the most up to date information so you, the consumer can take steps to ensure your families health. Below is a list of fruits and veggies that have topped this list.
- Imported Nectarines
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Hot Peppers
- Sweet Bell Peppers
You may be asking yourself what you can do to make sure your family doesn’t bite down on pesticide infused foods; the first step you can take is trying out only organically grown fruits and veggies. Sure the price is a bit higher but certainly worth it when you consider some of the health risks of pesticides. Some of these side effects may include disruption of hormones, brain/nervous system toxicity, cancer and eye, lung and skin irritation. Some studies have shown that even if you scrub clean or peel these fruits and veggies pesticides still come up. The reason for this is because most farms, even one’s that no longer spray pesticides will have residual amounts left in the soil, most likely these farms will not be able to completely rid their crops of pesticides.
The EWG suggests that thorough washing can get rid of some pesticides on the surface (see below) and remove peel where possible which will at least reduce exposure. The best way to avoid this is by switching to organic, at least for items on this list! The way I remember these Dirty Dozen is to tape it on the fridge and when I’m making my shopping list I just jot down organic next to it for quick reference, I also have the EWG app which is super helpful.
A cheap and easy way you can drastically reduce your exposure to pesticides and bacteria found on produce is with a thorough vinegar and water wash. Experts found that a white vinegar and water wash kills 98% of bacteria and removes pesticides.
You can concoct your own vinegar/water mixture at home to save money. You’ll probably spend less than 20 cents to make a homemade vinegar and water rinse, compared to around $4 for a premade produce wash.
Fill a bowl with water and add 1/8 to 1/2 cup of vinegar, depending on the size of your bowl.
- Place your fruits and veggies in the bowl.
- Soak for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Rinse with water.
Do you typically shop for Organic foods?