Pesticide Residues in Food- Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen

As far back as I can remember, my mother has been telling me and the family “Make sure you wash those vegetables good… they’re loaded with pesticides.” Turns out (this year) mom is right again . The annual Environmental Working Group’s annual “Dirty Dozen” list on Pesticide Residues in Food is out, and this time there is a couple of additions to the list:

Pesticide Residues in Food

Are you doing more harm than good to give your child an apple?

Cucumbers were added to the 2012 Dirty Dozen, while Kale and collard greens were moved from the list to join green beans in a new “Plus” category.

The category was created this year to highlight crops that did not meet traditional Dirty Dozen criteria but are still commonly contaminated with organophosphate insecticides, which are toxic to the nervous system.

Also included on the Dirty Dozen list are:

1. Apples
2. Celery
3. Sweet bell peppers
4. Peaches
5. Strawberries
6. Imported nectarines
7. Grapes
8. Spinach
9. Lettuce
10. Cucumbers
11. Domestic blueberries
12. Potatoes

And on the “Dirty Dozen Plus” list:

+ Green beans
+ Kale/collard greens

The fruits and vegetables with the least amount of pesticide residue make up a list of the “Clean 15″:

1. Onions
2. Sweet corn
3. Pineapples
4. Avocado
5. Cabbage
6. Sweet peas
7. Asparagus
8. Mangoes
9. Eggplant
10. Kiwi
11. Domestic cantaloupe
12. Sweet potatoes
13. Grapefruit
14. Watermelon
15. Mushrooms

Are Pesticide residues in food dangerous?

The CNN article goes on to say that although pesticide residues in food have not been widely studied, the toxics according to “ Chensheng Lu, an associate professor of environmental exposure biology at the Harvard School of Public Health, said the toxins appear to be connected to a prevalence of diseases, including cancer.”

 And some studies suggest pesticide intake, especially in the prenatal stage, can cause neurological developmental problems in infants, Lu said.

“Knowing that this chemical is designed to kill (certain) organisms, you have to be careful ingesting it,” he said .read whole article

Can you eliminate pesticide residues in food?

My mom certainly tries- She takes the food and dumps it into a sink full of cold water, and washes each piece individually with some soap. Then she rinses it out a few times doing so only with cold water. I think she spends more time cleaning the produce than actually cooking it. But organic produce and fruits are an all around better and healthier alternative, since they are not sprayed with pesticides and contain more of the natural vitamins your body needs.

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