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Produce:  Most vs. Least Pesticides

Many people cannot afford to buy all organic fruits and vegetables all the time.  But you don’t have to break your budget to significantly reduce the exposure for yourself and your family, and make a big impact.  Simply replace the most heavily pesticide-treated produce with the organic version.  Also, if there is one particular food that you or your family eats a large quantity of, consider switching to organic to reduce pesticide build-up.

Use this list below from the Environmental Working Group to help you determine which foods are the most and least contaminated.  This way, even if you cannot buy all organic foods, you will still be making much safer and healthier buying choices! 

The Worst Offenders - The Dirty Dozen

When it comes to these fruits and vegetables, they contain much higher amounts of pesticides than other produce.  When you purchase them, ALWAYS choose organic instead:

top12celery   Celery
top12peaches   Peaches
top12strawberries   Strawberries
top12apples   Apples
top12cucumber   Cucumbers
top12spinach   Spinach
top12sugarsnappeas   Snap Peas (imported)
top12kale   Kale/Collard Greens
top12potatoes   Potatoes
top12bellpeppers   Sweet Bell Peppers
top12grapes   Grapes
top12hotpepper   Hot Peppers

The Clean 15

In comparison, these fruits and vegetables contain much lower amounts of pesticides than other produce.  If you purchase non-organic, remember that pesticides are built to withstand irrigation methods so simply rinsing them with water will not help.  Instead, keep a spray bottle of distilled white vinegar next to your sink.  Spray your fruits and veggies with the vinegar and then rinse them before eating.  The vinegar helps neutralize the pesticides on the skins of your produce.

cleancabbage   Cabbage
cleanavocado   Avocado
cleansweetcorn   Sweet Corn
cleanpineapple   Pineapple
cleansweetpeas   Sweet Peas (Frozen)
cleanasparagus   Asparagus
cleanonion   Onions
cleankiwi   Kiwi Fruit
cleanmango   Mangoes
cleanpapaya   Papaya
cleaneggplant   Eggplant
cleangrapefruit   Grapefruit
cleancantaloupe   Cantaloupe
cleancauliflower   Cauliflower
cleansweetpotato   Sweet Potatoes

Peanut Butter

More acres are devoted to growing peanuts than any other fruits, vegetables, or nuts, according to the USDA.  Peanuts may look and taste like a nut, but they are a type of legume.  

More than 99% of peanut farms use conventional farming practices, including the use of fungicides to treat mold (a common problem in peanut crops).  Given that some kids eat peanut butter almost every day, switching to organic is very strongly recommended.  Many health food stores have a nut grinding section where you can make your own nut butter with various organic raw nuts - much more fun and a healthier choice than buying a pre-packaged jar!  

Watch out!

If you do purchase pre-packaged peanut butter, pay close attention to the ingredient list.  It should only contain ONE ingredient... peanuts! (although sea salt is also fine).  Watch out for a long list of very unhealthy ingredients such as sugar and oil, which are commonly used in popular non-organic brands.

Meat, Eggs, & Dairy

It is very important to avoid factory-farmed meat if you live in the US (meat from feed lots).  When you choose conventional meat, milk, and dairy, not only do you have to be concerned about ingesting antibiotics and artificial hormones which are routinely administered to farm animals, but these animals are also fed an unnatural diet of GMOs heavily sprayed with pesticides.  

A recent USDA survey found pesticides in 30% of conventional milk samples & low levels in only one organic sample.  

7 reasons to avoid factory-farmed meat... 

Meats, eggs, and dairy products from pasture-raised animals, whether organic or conventionally raised, offer a much greater nutritional advantage and a safer food product.  They also contain a far better balance of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids.

The Body Healer ProtocolLearn more about omega-3 & omega-6 fatty acids:
The Body Healer Protocol...

Ketchup & Tomato-Based Products

For some families, ketchup is a staple and is used in large quantities.  About 75% of tomatoes consumed are in the form of processed tomatoes, including ketchup, tomato juice, and tomato paste.  Replacing conventional tomato products with organic can add up to a significant difference in the toxic pesticide residue eaten.  

Similar to peanut butter, watch out for unwanted ingredients that are not healthy for our body:

Healthy vs. Unhealthy Ketchup
Thumbs up
  • Tomato puree
  • White vinegar
  • Mustard
  • Sea salt
  • Onion
  • Spices
  Thumbs down
  • High-fructose corn syrup
  • Corn syrup
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Natural flavoring
  • Artificial flavoring



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