Feb 222013

Let’s face it, when the economy is bad, it is more difficult to spend the extra money on certifed organic foods. If you find yourself penny-pinching at the grocery store like myself, keep in mind the following produce items which have the highest levels of pesticide residues so that you may prioritize your purchases. The following 12 food items represent the “dirty dozen” as referred to by dieticians and nutritionists

The Top 12 Most Contaminated Foods

Apples, Peaches/Nectarines, Sweet Bell Peppers, Celery, Cucumbers, Strawberries, Bluesberries, Pears, Grapes, Spinach/Kale, Lettuce, Potatoes

The Least Contaminated Foods- “The Clean 15″

Onions, Avocado, Sweet Corn, Pineapples, Mangoes, Asparagus, Sweet Peas, Kiwi Fruit, Cabbage, Watermelon, Eggplant, Sweet Potato, Grapefruit, Cantaloupe, Mushroom

When you are at the grocery store, try to buy organic when it comes to the “dirty dozen”, and feel free to stock your cart with the “clean 15.” It is also recommended that you consume antibiotic-free and hormone-free meats and dairy, because pesticides and chemicals can be transmitted via the meat and cow’s milk.

Remember, there is no need to pay the organic prices when the organic and commercial food items lack a significant difference. It is recommended that you either buy certified organic with the “dirty dozen” or at least clean them with a fruit wash or peel them. The Environmental Working Group, authors of the annual “dirty dozen”, state that 80% of pesticide residues can be eliminated by buying organic options of the “dirty dozen.”

Certified Organic: “the growing area must be free of synthetic chemical pesticides, fertilizers and defoliants for at least three growing seasons.”

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