I want to eat apples not pesticides!
Does an Apple a Day Really Keep the Doctor Away?
As an obsessed-with-healthful-food mom of a toddler I was freaked out to find that 6 of the most ‘dirty’ foods are my son’s favorite fruits: apples, strawberries, peaches, nectarines, grapes and plums. The ‘Dirty Dozen’ produce list of EWG (Environmental Working Group) enumerates all the fruits and veggies that are treated the most with pesticides and that should be avoided at all costs.
peaches are usually treated with a cocktail of up to 57 different pesticides, followed by apples – 56 chemicals and raspberries – 51
Can We Clean the Pesticides from the Fruits and Vegetables?
There are many fruit and vegetable washes as well as many homemade recipes with baking soda or vinegar that claim cleaning the produce from the chemicals it has been treated with. It turned out that they don’t help, at least not on 100%.
The methodology used by EWG to evaluate the contamination of the produce includes thorough washing and where needed peeling of the fruits and veggies. Only after that they are tested. Though washing the fruits is a must before consumption, it does not clean up all the chemicals with which the produce has been systematically treated. Moreover, some pesticides are put in the soil. Thus, they are absorbed by the root system of the fruits and vegetables. These pesticides cannot be washed away!
So, what is the solution? Here is what I do at home.
What to Buy Organic and what not?
Buying everything organic can be a financial suicide. Still, I want I to put clean and healthy food on the table at home. To do so, I decide what to buy organic and what not. Generally, I buy organic only the fruits and vegetables from the ‘Dirty Dozen’ produce list, while the rest that we eat are conventionally grown. By choosing less contaminated fruits and vegetables included in the Clean 15, we get fewer types (e.g. 1-2) and lower volumes of pesticides.
Don’t Forget What to Buy Organic
I just can’t remember what to buy organic and what not. So, after a couple of times I went back home with produce from the ‘Dirty Dozen’ list, I installed the EWG’s Shopper’s Guide application on my mobile phone. It’s free, very simple and useful reference when I am out for shopping. I do recommend it!
Do you buy everything organic? What are the trade offs you make in order to get organic produce without breaking the bank?