Organic vs. Conventional: Reviewing the “Dirty Dozen”

Are you planning to put cut up celery into your Thanksgiving stuffing this year? CNN recently reviewed the Environmental Working group’s infamous “Dirty Dozen”. According to the EWG, non-organic celery, the most “dirty” food on the list, may contain as many as 67 pesticides! Yuck x 67! Other foods in the group’s Dirty Dozen list include peaches, strawberries, apples, domestic blueberries, nectarines, sweet bell peppers, spinach (including kale and collard greens), cherries, potatoes, imported grapes and lettuce. The good news…EWG claims that you can reduce your exposure to pesticides by 80 percent by choosing organic versions of the Dirty Dozen. So, if you can, look to splurge on the dirty D and then plan to save your pennies by buying conventional versions of the “clean 15”. These fruits and vegetables were the least likely to have pesticides detected on the parts you eat, with typical washing: Onion, Avocado, Sweet Corn, Apples, Pineapple, Mango, Asparagus, Sweet Peas, Kiwi, Eggplant, Papaya, Watermelon, Broccoli, Tomato, Sweet Potato. Finally, we are in a recession here…so if you just can’t stomach organic prices, then try these pesticide removing tips: wash fruits and vegetables just before cooking or eating; wash under running water, when possible; scrub fruits and vegetables with a clean scrub brush or with hands; for melons, scrub the rind with a brush under running water before cutting or
peeling (this removes bacteria before it is spread by the knife when slicing); and finally, dry fruits and vegetables with disposable paper towels. For more information on organic vs. conventional foods and organic labeling, click on my condensed “Organic Info” section HERE.

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