Information Courtesy Care2 and Melissa Breyer
Melissa Breyer wrote something recently that really got our attention AGAIN (we wrote about this last spring as well), and we feel the need to pass this important information along AGAIN: “What a world-gone-crazy time it is when you can write “produce” and “avoid” in the same sentence. But here we are, with the newly published 5th edition of Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides
, which includes the latest government data—a list of 47 popular fruits and vegetables in ranking of pesticide contamination and helps you know which produce to buy organic, and which conventionally-grown fruits and vegetables are okay if organic isn’t available.”
According to EWG, every year new research is published demonstrating the toxicity of pesticides to human health and the environment, often at doses previously declared “safe” by the pesticide industry and the government. As acknowledged by the U.S. and international government agencies, different pesticides have been linked with a variety of toxic effects, including nervous system effects, carcinogenic effects, hormone system effects, and skin, eye and lung irritation.
Since it’s probably not realistic for us to choose all
organic all the time, picking and choosing is the next best thing. The list below can be a helpful guide to making the healthiest choices available (download the full list of the 47 at EWG
, the offer for the list is on the right side). Here is the “Cliff Notes Version” of what to look for when spring produce shopping. The rankings are listed in the parenthesis. Out of 47 items tested, 1 is the most contaminated and 47 is the least.
Buy Organic or Don’t Buy: Five spring items with the highest pesticide loads
Aim for Organic, But Conventional Will Do: Four spring items with the lowest pesticide loads
sweet peas (41)
If you can shop at a farmer’s market, remember to ask the vendors about their pest management philosophies. Many farmers are unable or unwilling to file for organic certification but still practice organic, or almost organic, methods. It can be a good way for safer eating without the organic label.
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