It seems like everything you hear these days about what’s good for you is confusing. One day it’s good, the next it’s bad. Well, when it comes to fruits and veggies, it’s no different! With summer in full swing, we’re all buying and eating a lot more fresh fruit and vegetables. That’s great! We all know it’s good for us and tastes so much better when it’s fresh! So what do you need to know before you buy?
First of all, fruits and vegetables are good for you. No doubt about that. The more you eat, the better off you’ll be. Although we may not want to hear it or admit it, though, a lot of fruit and vegetables these days are contaminated with pesticides and chemicals. Even having said that, a diet rich in these foods outweighs your risk of exposure, so you’re still better off eating it than not. You’ll want to avoid those that have the most pesticide, however.
Luckily, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has released its Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce with updated information on 53 fruits and vegetables. This guide will help you determine which fruits and veggies have the most and the least pesticide residue. You can reduce your risk by buying organic, but it’s not always readily available or financially possible. Some other things you can do include joining a CSA (do a search for Community-Supported Agriculture), community garden, or buy in bulk from a farmer’s market or buy organic food on sale and freeze it. You can also lower your pesticide intake greatly by avoiding those listed on the “Dirty Dozen” and eating more of those on the “Clean 15” list. It’s up to you to make the best choices in your daily life to minimize your risk to pesticides.
Dirty Dozen: 1) Apples 2) Celery 3) Strawberries 4) Peaches 5) Spinach 6) Nectarines (imported) 7) Grapes (imported) 8) Sweet bell peppers 9) Potatoes 10) Blueberries (domestic) 11) Lettuce 12) Kale/Collard greens
Clean Fifteen: 1) Onions 2) Corn 3) Pineapples 4) Avocado 5) Asparagus 6) Sweet peas 7) Mangoes 8) Eggplant 9) Cantaloupe (domestic) 10) Kiwi 11) Cabbage 12) Watermelon 13) Sweet Potatoes 14) Grapefruit 15) Mushrooms
For more information on the Environmental Working Group or it’s findings: http://www.ewg.org/
For a pocket-side shopper’s guide as well as an I-Phone app:http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/
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