Concerns are growing in the United States about exposure to pesticides and other contaminants that can adversely affect people, especially during fetal development and childhood when effects can have long-term developmental consequences. Choosing to eat organic produce and animal products can minimize exposure to harmful chemicals and lead to a more nutrient dense diet.
According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) people can lower their pesticide exposure by almost 90% by avoiding the 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables and choosing organic products instead. Although washing and peeling fruits and vegetables helps to lower exposure, residues still remain. The best bet is to choose organic whenever possible and avoid the “dirty dozen” to reduce exposure.
The Dirty Dozen: Choose organic to avoid the 12 most contaminated produce
- Sweet Bell Peppers
- Grapes (imported)
The Cleanest 12: Lowest in pesticide residues
- Sweet Corn (frozen)
- Sweet Peas (frozen)
Download a wallet-sized shopper’s resource at www.foodnews.org
Source: Environmental Working Group