The Clean 15 and the Dirty Dozen

Much of the produce that is sold today in supermarkets is supplied from farmers who practice conventional farming methods using chemical fertilizers as well as pesticides and herbicides. As we expose ourselves to these synthetic substances over the years, our bodies become overloaded, and our ‘cleaning’ mechanisms fail to work. As a result, many of us develop sickness and disease because our bodies cannot efficiently remove these toxins anymore.

Pesticides are poisons designed to kill insects, plants, fungi, molds and rodents. Even when used as directed, pesticides have many negative side effects on human health and the environment.

Some pesticides accumulate in the fatty tissues interfering with growth, reproduction and behavior. Repeated exposure to pesticides has been linked to neurological problems, brain and lung cancer, immune suppression, leukemia, Parkinson’s disease, kidney damage, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and reproductive disorders, including endocrine disruption, low sperm count, and sterility.

Pesticide contamination tests on popular fruits and vegetables are regularly performed on produce after it has been rinsed or peeled - the results of which should help you decide where to best spend your organic food dollars.

The Clean 15: Onions, sweet corn, pineapples, avocado, asparagus, sweet peas, mangoes, eggplant, cantaloupe, kiwi, cabbage, watermelon, sweet potatoes, grapefruit, mushrooms.

The Dirty Dozen: Apples, celery, strawberries, peaches, spinach, nectarines, grapes, bell peppers, potatoes, blueberries, lettuce, kale.

Conventionally grown is better than not at all but choose organic from the dirty dozen when you can. The benefit of fruits and vegetables outweigh the risk from pesticides even if they're not organic.

"The way you think, the way you behave, the way you eat, can influence your life by 30 to 50 years."  ~Deepak Chopra

nutritionBecky Tainter