The dirty dozen and the clean 15 refers to fruits and vegetables and their pesticide contamination levels according to the Environmental Working Group.
We live in a society where creating a higher yield with larger and stronger plants is more important to the producer than it is to create healthy whole food to feed the buyer. Due to our extremely competitive market, pesticides are being used on all of our fruits and vegetables.
Unfortunately, pesticides are terribly toxic to the human body. Many pesticides are being linked to serious health problems, some of which are even deadly, including hormone disruption, cancer, and brain toxicity, just to name a few.
David Suzuki shares this brief document that reviews the 61 pesticides that are banned in other industrialized countries but are still widely used in Canada.
What does the dirty dozen mean?
The dirty dozen are 12 fruits and vegetables that have the highest level of contamination. These are the 12 that you want to buy organic when possible!
In order of most contamination to least:
– Sweet bell peppers
– Cherry tomatoes
Of course it’s understandable that choosing organic for all of your produce can often mean spending more money in the grocery stores. For some households this can cause financial struggles. To keep that grocery bill down we have the clean 15, the list of produce that contains a much lower amount of pesticides. Although it’s generally better to buy organic as often as possible, when eating these clean 15 you can be happy to know you aren’t ingesting a high dose of chemical toxins.
The Clean 15 (in order of least contamination)
– Sweet corn
– Sweet peas frozen
– Honeydew Melon
If you can’t go organic should you stay away from the dirty dozen?
Absolutely not! Eating non-organic fruits and vegetables (even the dirty dozen) is a much better choice than eating something from a box, which is probably filled with toxic chemicals. However, if you can stick to choosing organic for the toxin filled dirty dozen, your body will thank you!
Michelle Wolfe, RMT
Protocol Therapist, Director of Social Media