The Environmental Working Group (EWG) released its 2014 Dirty Dozen™ last week. The list exposes the most pesticide-contaminated produce. Apples were at the top of the list again, followed by strawberries and grapes.
Although washing produce thoroughly can help reduce the pesticide residue, I would still recommend choosing organic, especially for those first 12 (or dirty dozen).
Organic produce can be very expensive, so if you are on a tight budget, consider filling your shopping cart with produce that was found to have the least amount of pesticide residue, like avocados, pineapples and cabbage. This list is call the Clean Fifteen™.
EWG also offers two great tools for those who may find sticking to this list too expensive or limited, or even time-consuming. The first is EWG’s Shoppers Guide to Pesticides in Produce 2014™, which can be downloaded as a PDF or used as an app for your smart phone.
The second tool is Good Food on a Tight Budget, a site that offers tips on saving money on food, as well as tasty recipes!
Photo from here, with thanks.
One of the greatest differences in organic fruits and vegetables lies in how the food is grown, handled and processed. Because organic foods aren’t treated with preservatives and waxes, you may find that organic fruits and vegetables spoil more quickly than non-organic varieties.
Organic fruits and vegetables also aren’t sprayed with herbicides and pesticides, which leave a residue on the food – something many people want to reduce their exposure to whenever possible. Organic farming methods are also designed to conserve water and soil while reducing pollution, making organic foods more environmentally friendly. There is a price for these farming practices however. While these methods encourage the growth of fruits and vegetables free from herbicides and pesticides, it often means that the farming method is more labor intensive, increasing the price of the food.
If you’re interested in shopping organic and there’s a limited supply at your local supermarket, you can look for local farmers’ markets, organic foods and community supported agriculture near you. Check out this link to find out what’s being grown and harvested in your surrounding area. Continue reading “Organic Produce and the Dirty Dozen”