The Environmental Working Group (EWG) comes up with a couple lists of popular fruits and vegetables consumed by Americans ranking the amount of pesticide contamination. These rankings are based off of commercially bought food and are general guidelines of what to buy organically. I personally recommend going to farmers markets and/or growing your own fruits or vegetables, that way you know where your food comes from and you know whether or not pesticides were used (and how much).
The “Dirty Dozen” list contains the fruits and vegetables that have the heaviest pesticide contamination. When buying these foods in the grocery, they should be bought organically so that it can limit your pesticide exposure. I just want to point out that buying organic doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re not getting any pesticide exposure, it just means that you’re limiting your potential exposure to pesticides. Another thing a person can do with their food is clean it with vinegar and water (1 part to 3 parts, respectively) to try to wash off any potential pesticides, molds, and any other potential contaminates.
The “Dirty Dozen” list includes:
- Sweet Bell Peppers
The “Clean Fifteen” list contains the fruits and vegetables that have the lowest pesticide contamination. I generally recommend buying organic as much as possible, but there is also a cost factor with buying organic and the “Clean Fifteen” are the foods that a person can get away with not buying organic as much. Reason why is because there really isn’t as much of a difference between the conventional and organic farmed versions of the fruit or vegetable when it comes to pesticide exposure. Just like the “Dirty Dozen” list, I recommend washing the fruit or vegetable with vinegar and water.
The “Clean Fifteen” list includes:
- Sweet Corn
- Sweet Peas (frozen)
- Honeydew Melons
About the Author
Dr. Eric Johnson, Doctor of Chiropractic and Diplomate of the American Clinical Board of Nutrition as well as owner of Functional Wellness and Chiropractic Center in Madison, WI, is a functional medicine doctor that identifies root causes of pain and/or dysfunction. His systems-based, not symptoms-based, approach is a comprehensive, holistic approach that helps identify mental, chemical, and physical stressors that are underlying numerous health conditions. If you are in the Madison, Middleton, Verona, Waunakee area and looking to not only feel better, but live better, contact Dr. Eric at (608) 203-9272.