Today, conventional farms use numerous pesticides on our crops. These pesticides are absorbed by the soil, pulled through the roots of plants and even soaked up by the final crop. Additionally, pesticides seep into our waterways, which contaminate them. Pesticides found in conventional foods are linked to cancer, liver, kidney and blood disease, weakened immune systems, birth defects and most recently ADHD.

Conversely, organic farms prohibit the use of harmful pesticides. Organic foods are produced from natural and sustainable farming methods. As a result, they are safer and healthier for the earth and public consumption.

In general, you should try to avoid foods with pesticide exposure whenever possible, but there are certain foods that have higher and lower pesticide levels. According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), these are the top dirtiest and cleanest foods:

The Dirty Dozen
These foods have the highest levels of pesticide residue, even after washing them. The EWG recently conducted a study that found as many as 67 different chemicals treated on foods, such as celery and peaches. Shockingly, some of the most popular fruits and vegetables landed on this list.

Strive to buy these foods organic or local
1. Celery
2. Peaches
3. Strawberries
4. Apples
5. Blueberries
6. Nectarines
7. Bell Peppers
8. Spinach
9. Kale
10. Cherries
11. Potatoes
12. Grapes (Imported)

The Clean 15
These foods have the lowest pesticide levels, which mean they are safer options among conventional foods. However, organic or local foods are typically the best option. The EWG, found no more than four chemicals on these foods. Some of these foods even had “no detectable pesticides.”

1. Onions
2. Avocado
3. Sweet Corn
4. Pineapple
5. Mangos
6. Sweet Peas
7. Asparagus
8. Kiwi
9. Cabbage
10. Eggplant
11. Cantaloupe
12. Watermelon
13. Grapefruit
14. Sweet Potato
15. Honeydew Melon

According to EWG, “You can lower your pesticide consumption by nearly four-fifths by avoiding the 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables and instead eating the least contaminated produce.” Rather than avoiding the dirty dozen all together, you can simply enjoy these foods by buying them organic. It’s extremely important to eat fruits and vegetables, just make sure they are high quality.

Do you want to learn more about healthy and safe foods? Contact me today for a free health consultation. We can discuss your unique situation and develop a plan that works best for you.

Natalie Drugan, Founder of Brumberry and Certified Health Coach
Brumberry is my nutrition and lifestyle coaching practice. As a certified health coach, I educate individuals and groups on how to make healthy food and lifestyle choices that significantly improve their health and happiness.

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