Wednesday, February 9, 2011

February Conservation Tip

The Dirty Dozen

If you are like me, you are trying to buy most of your groceries organic. But sometimes you wonder, if you really should spend $ 5.99 for 8 oz of strawberries, if the conventional ones are $ 2.99 a lb, right?

Help is on the way: The EWG (Environmental Working Group)publishes a so called "Dirty Dozen" guide every year, listing the twelve most pesticide contaminated fruits and vegetables. According to their measurements, we, the consumers, can reduce our pesticide exposure by up to 80% by either avoiding the "Dirty Dozen" or buying organic.
And here the list, number 1 being the most, number 12 the least contaminated:

1. Celery...up to 64 pesticides were found!
2. Peaches
3. Strawberries...maybe we should spend the extra $$
4. Apples
5. Blueberries
6. Nectarines
7. Bell Pepper
8. Spinach
9. Kale
10. Cherries
11. Potatoes
12. Grapes

Just barely off the list in 2010 were Carrots, Pears and Tomatoes

Not in the fruit and vegetable section, but dairy, especially milk, and meat not only can contain pesticides, but also hormones and antibiotics.

Another grocery to think about is coffee, since it's often produced in countries where pesticide control is marginal, look for the USDA Organic label, and even better, look for Fair Trade coffee.

Now the good news, here a list with the 15 least contaminated fruits and vegetables:

1. Onion
2. Avocado
3. Sweet Corn...although to my knowledge, all not organic corn is genetically modified...
4. Pineapple...which is usually not local...
5. Mango
6. Sweet Peas
7. Asparagus
8. Kiwi
9. Cabbage...of course...;-)
10. Eggplant
11. Papaya
12. Watermelon
13. Broccoli
14. Tomato
15. Sweet Potato

Please check out the Daily Green and the EWG websites for more information and details.

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