So many people want to know if they have to buy everything organic and how important it is, especially if they are on a budget! In this day and age, I feel it is very important to try and buy everything you can organic. Chemicals and Toxins are everywhere and are not just found in the obvious places. They can be hidden in the most common exposures like the foods that are being ingested every day into our bodies! We have to do all we can to avoid exposure. These toxins and chemicals are linked to everything from cancer, learning disabilities, developmental disorders and even death!
The Environmental Working Group has put together a “dirty dozen” list of the foods you absolutely should always buy organic. These foods are considered “dirty” because of the high pesticide load in the skins or in the fruit itself. Many of these foods come from Gentetically Modified seeds that have been injected with Round Up to get them to grow faster. In other words, you would never be able to “wash” away the pesticides anyway.
You’ll find below a list of fruits and vegetables that contain the most chemicals and the ones that have the least. This way you know which ones to spend the extra money getting the organic and which ones that can wait for now.
According to the group’s annual “dirty dozen” list of fruits and vegetables with the highest pesticide residues, apples ranked number one as the most-contaminated item, up from number four last year.
The “clean fifteen” are also included in the report – these are fruits and veggies with the lowest levels of pesticides so there’s no need to waste your money on organic versions. Some popular items include watermelon and avocado.
To get our produce to even our grocery store, it goes through a journey. Public health agencies like the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) use the term “field-to-fork continuum” to describe the path any given food takes on the way to your plate, and during any of the following steps, contamination is possible:
- Open field production
- Field packing
- Greenhouse production
- Packinghouse or field packing
- Repacking and other distribution operations
- Fresh-cut/value-added processing
- Food service and retail
You simply can’t remove all the contaminants I’ve mentioned with just water.
To make matters worse, most produce is waxed after harvest to withstand the long journey to market and to protect against the many hands that touch it. Wax seals in pesticide residues and debris, which make them even more difficult to remove with just water.
You can see in the images below, how an apple from the local farmers’ market looks much different than one at your grocery store. This is the wax film applied. It sure looks shiny and yummy, but should we really be eating it?
So to reach the contaminants buried beneath the surface of your vegetables and fruits, you need a cleanser that also removes the wax.
All Natural Remedies for Cleaning Fruits/Veggies:
Running under water for 2 min. is a good start but not enough. Here are a few home remedies and why they work:
1) White Vinegar, Water and a spray bottle
The reason this works is because the acetic acid in vinegar kills bacteria and
helps to dissolve the wax and pesticide residues found on the skins of many
fruits and vegetables.
2) 1 Lemon, 2 tablespoons of Distilled White Vinegar, 1 cup of water
Same idea and you always need a good scrub brush too!
3) Other Natural Products:
- Dr. Mercola has a great veggie/fruit cleaning spray
- Shaklee’s BASIC H2 (What I use and LOVE!). Just a couple drops in your sink full of water and veggies!
Other Helpful Tips:
You should buy local as much as possible. This ensures that some of those above mentioned steps are eliminated! Find out when your farmers’ market is, and make it a family event!
You can even get an app for your iPhone for the Dirty Dozen/Clean 15 list here! It’s so helpful when at the grocery store or farmer’s market!