Thursday, December 23, 2010

the dirty dozen

Woke up this morning feeling good, so what else is new? It's become kind of boring, because every day I wake up at 5:00 or 5:30, have that first cup of coffee, and realize that's as good as I'm going to feel all day. But I can easily live with that kind of boredom.

I'm sure one of the reasons I feel so chipper is because I'm very careful about what I put inside myself, and very much aware of what to avoid. Therefore, I would urge everyone reading this to be knowledgeable about the food you eat and the dangerous levels of pesticides and other poisons on some of our most common produce.

A non-profit watchdog organization, the Environmental Working Group, has compiled a list of the 12 most heavily-pesticided fruits and vegetables which they call the dirty dozen. For example, when we eat a stalk of non-organically raised celery, we're taking in as many as 67 different pesticides. The foods on this list all have soft skins which makes them more likely to absorb the poisons they're sprayed with. They are:

1. Celery

2, Peaches

3. Strawberries

4. Apples

5. Domestic blueberries

6. Nectarines

7. Bell peppers

8. Spinach, kale and collard greens

9. Cherries

10. Potatoes

11. Imported grapes

12. Lettuce

When you buy these items, you should either pay the extra money for organic or avoid them altogether.

In addition to the dirty dozen, the EWG also lists the "clean 15" roster of non-organically-grown produce which is relatively safe to eat. Most of these have a thick outer layer which protects their insides from contamination.

1. Onions

2. Avocados

3. Sweet corn

4. Pineapples

5. Mango

6. Sweet peas

7. Asparagus

8. Kiwi fruit

9. Cabbage

10. Eggplant

11. Cantaloupe

12. Watermelon

13. Grapefruit

14. Sweet potatoes

15. Sweet onions

I've noticed that carrots, oranges, and bananas, which many people eat every day, are not on either list. I always buy organic carrots because they're thin-skinned, but I don't mind eating non-organic oranges and bananas because they're thick-skinned.

And remember, celery stalks at midnight.


Joe said...

That's good information, especially about stalking celery.

Joe said...

I like avocados and always get them when they are on special.