Simple – Pesticides are not health promoting. The less you ingest, the better.
Pesticides are often used on fruits and vegetables during the growing process, yet fruits and vegetables are critical for overall health. See the potential conflict?
Fortunately you can eat your important fruits and vegetables and limit your pesticide exposure with a bit of awareness provided by the Environmental Working Group (EWG).
EWG has gone through collected results from 89,000 pesticide tests created by the USDA and FDA. From this data, EWG has created an updated pesticide exposure best-to-worst list for the 50 most popular fruits and vegetables. (Ranking Methodology)
EWG created a nice cheat sheet highlighting the Dirty Dozen (12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables) and the Clean 15 (15 least contaminated fruits and vegetables).
Here is the 2010 cheat sheet.
What is the pesticide exposure difference between the two lists?
EWG explains, “…people who eat five fruits and vegetables a day from the Dirty Dozen™ list consume an average of 10 pesticides a day. Those who eat from the 15 least contaminated conventionally-grown fruits and vegetables ingest fewer than 2 pesticides daily.”
Seems like a pretty significant difference. If possible, limiting consumption from the Dirty Dozen (unless organic or a known source) seems like a choice definitely worth considering.
You can check out my article on the 2009 EWG list which also contains a few different ways to bring organic produce in your home without the entire organic price tag. – Five Ways to Reduce Your Fruits and Vegetables Pesticide Exposure I have also found great pricing on a wide variety of organic fruits and vegetables at Costco but results will vary depending on the store.
If you are not able to buy or grow your own produce without pesticides, should you stop eating them?
EWG states, “No, eat your fruits and vegetables! The health benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables outweigh the risks of pesticide exposure. Use EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to reduce your exposures as much as possible, but eating conventionally-grown produce is far better than not eating fruits and vegetables at all.”
Snickers bar or a conventional apple? Conventional apple still wins.
If pesticide exposure is a concern to you, you now have a great source to assist with purchasing decisions.
To see the entire EWG list and additional insight, check out the entire EWG Shopper’s Guide.
Be active – Feel the buzz!
David – EnduranceBuzz.com
Posted on 13 Aug 2010