May 14, 2010

Organic or Conventional?

Posted in Breast Cancer, Cancer, Food, Garden, Health tagged , , , , , , at 7:07 am by Liliana

The Dirty Dozen

The Dirty Dozen

Most health experts and nutritionists advise us to purchase organic foods whenever possible. This is a good guide of which foods have the most pesticides, and which are not as contaminated.

The Dirty Dozen
Pesticide levels in these foods are so high that even by washing and peeling carefully, there is no way to avoid ingesting  high dosage of chemicals. If you buy organic varieties of just this group of foods, the estimate is that you can reduce your total pesticide exposure by 80%.

Fruits:

  • Apples
  • Cherries
  • Grapes
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries

Vegetables:

  • Bell pepper
  • Celery
  • Potatoes
  • Spinach

Thin-skinned fruits and vegetables are usually more susceptible to pesticides, because it is easier for the chemicals to penetrate the flesh. Apples, because of the crevices at the top and bottom of the fruit, are especially susceptible.  Spinach and celery are very porous, leaving pesticides trapped in the small openings of their skin. Peppers, on the other hand, have thick skins; but because pesticide residue clings to the surface even when scrubbed, they are also highly contaminated.

The Clean Fifteen
Even when grown conventionally, these fruits and vegetables usually have lower levels of pesticide contamination. When you go shopping, these are the good items to compromise with.

Fruits:

  • Avocados
  • Pineapple
  • Mangos
  • Kiwis
  • Papaya
  • Watermelons
  • Grapefruit

Vegetables:

  • Onions
  • Sweet corn
  • Asparagus
  • Peas
  • Cabbage
  • Eggplant
  • Broccoli
  • Tomatoes
  • Sweet Potatoes

Most of these foods have protective skins, husks, or pods. Broccoli and cabbage are cold weather crops grown when pests are not as prevalent. Fruits grown on trees often require fewer pesticides because they are high above the ground and less susceptible to insects.

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