The Dirty Dozen

Why do we want to avoid pesticides? Research shows that people who eat organic consume fewer pesticides. A study published in the Environmental Health Perspectives in 2015 reported people that often or always buy organic produce have significantly less organophosphate insecticides in their urine samples. Long-term observational studies also indicate that organophosphate insecticides may contribute to brain development in children. Pesticides have been linked to dozens of health problems, such as autism, ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder), Parkinson’s disease, and certain cancers.

The Dirty Dozen list is put together every year by the “Environmental Working Group” (EWG).
It reveals the fruits and vegetables that are the most likely to be contaminated by pesticides. Among the key findings in 2017:

  • Almost 70% of 48 non-organic samples tested positive for at least one pesticide, and much more in many cases. 
  • A single strawberry had twenty different pesticides. 
  • DDT, a neurotoxic insecticide banned in the U.S was found on an alarming number of Spinach samples. 
  • More than 98 percent of samples of strawberries, spinach, peaches, nectarines, cherries and apples tested positive for residue of at least one pesticide.

In 2017, the list of the dirty dozen goes as follow: strawberries, spinach, nectarines, apples, peaches, pears, cherries, grapes, celery, tomatoes, capsicums, potatoes. We can also add kale & greens, snap peas and cucumbers who almost made it to this unfortunate list. 

One cannot wash or peel pesticides. Although washing removes some residues (soak your veggies for ten minutes in diluted white vinegar)  the systemic pesticides are inside the produce and can not be washed away. 

Eating a lot of vegetables is recommended, but you want to choose organic ones, especially when it comes to Dirty Dozen. Check our “3kg Essential Bag” to receive every week your bag of organic “dirty dozen” items. 


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