If you aren’t familiar with the Environmental Working Group, click here to learn who they are and what they do! To sum it up, the EWG is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to protecting human health and the environment. That could be an entire blog post itself, but I will spare you!
So, lets get to it…the EWG has updated their dirty dozen and clean fifteen list. This list includes the top twelve conventional (not organic) fruits and veggies that have the highest amounts of pesticide residue. You will want to try (keyword, try) to always buy the items on that list organic. It has changed a tiny bit from last year, so click here to download a pdf to either print or screen shot to save on your phone when grocery shopping!
Why is this important?
Long term exposure to toxic pesticides are harmful to us. They cause tons of issues. Pesticides are intended to prevent or destroy pests, insects, and rodents. So, they can be really harmful to people, animals, and the environment because they are designed to kill living organisms. Although, the government regulates pesticide use, it is still found in our food supply.
It is known that organophosphates, a pesticide that is found on commercially grown fruit and vegetables, has to been linked to behavior and learning problems in children. I am not over here saying your child is going to get ADHD, I am saying watch out, because the government isn’t always looking out for us. Exposure to these pesticides is also known to cause cancer, weakened immune system, nervous system issues, and the list goes on and on. Pesticides have been found to reduce the number of white blood cells and disease-fighting lymphocytes.
Please know that I never share info to shame you for what you are doing, but simply to empower you to make the best choices you can for you and your families. By starting with this lists and using it when grocery shopping it could make a huge difference in your families long-term health because little choices like this add up over time.
Another thing I want to be very clear on is the fact that conventional fruits and veggies are better than none at all. Not everyone can afford or has access to organic foods. Plus, if you eat out even 1x a week (like we do) you can almost guarantee that not everything is organic, and that is ok. Always progress over perfection over here. Pick your battles, and control the things you can. Whatever you do, do not stop eating fruits and veggies! They are powerhouses loaded with all the good things like antioxidants, fiber, and a ton of beneficial vitamins and minerals.
I want to leave you with some ways to clean your produce which you should do no matter if its conventional or organic! Remember, organic farmers still use an “approved list” of natural pesticides and fertilizers. Click here to download a pdf of the washes to save or print!