There is so much conflicting advice out there, it's hard to know what to do LET US DO IT FOR YOU! Our staff of doctors, nurses and health journalists comb the medical literature, Internet sites, medical abstracts and government health entities for important health information. We remove the jargon and curate the content to a down-to-earth page or so as to be quickly usable by you and your family. Our staff of doctors, nurses and health journalists comb the medical literature, Internet sites, medical abstracts and government health entities for important health information. We remove the jargon and curate the content to a down-to-earth page or so as to be quickly usable by you and your family.
THIS ISSUE: Organic or Not? A summary of foods have chemical residues, and which are safe.
SAFER FOODSTUFFS Organic farmers rely heavily on crop rotation, biological plant protection and hygiene practices to protect crops, however, organic pesticides can be used in organic farming. Only 25 organic pesticides are approved for organic use versus the 900 that are allowed to be used on conventional crops . #1 on the Clean 16 is the most chemical free. Organic pesticides are tightly regulated for safety but they can be harmful to health in high doses. Smaller numbers are better.
THE RATINGS Americans spent over 26 billion dollars on organic produce in 2010 compared to one billion in 1990. There's a good reason to do so if you want to "eat healthy." The main concern driving organic food consumption is pesticide exposure. Every year, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) releases the Dirty Dozen™ — a list of the 12 non-organic fruits and vegetables highest in pesticide residues. #1 on the “dirty” side has the most pesticide. Our staff recommends spending the premium for organic food where the “dirty” numbers are smaller.
The Dirty Dozen is a phrase that refers to 12 “dirty” crops on which farmers use the most pesticides. Alternatively, the Clean Fifteen refers to fifteen crops that use the least amount of pesticides. The data isn’t random; it comes from an analysis of the United States government’s Pesticide Data Program, a pesticide residue monitoring system enacted in 1991.
HOW TO WASH YOUR FRUIT AND VEGGIES Smaller greens, such as spinach, can be washed by gently swirling the leaves in a bowl of cold water. Use a clean fruit and vegetable brush to scrub away dirt and germs from fruits and vegetables with a firm skin, like potatoes, cucumbers and melons. Irregular vegetable surfaces, such as broccoli, should be soaked in cold water for 1-2 minutes to remove impurities from the crevasses. Don’t use soap, special washes or bleach to wash produce. These could leave residue behind. If you are peeling or cutting a fruit or vegetable like a cucumber or an apple, you should wash it thoroughly first. Bacteria can spread easily from the outside of a fruit or veggie if you don’t wash the food first. Knives used on several different foodstuffs should also be washed between types to avoid cross-contamination.