Health Tips

Dirty Dozen List: nonorganic veggies and fruits you should never eat

Maybe you know, maybe you don’t… but not all nonorganic fruits and veggies are equally contaminated by pesticides and chemicals.

Some fruits and vegetables are safe. However, some shouldn’t even be touched with a stick 😂  They contain too many pesticides.

This is why every year, the Environmental Working Group creates the Dirty Dozen list which states the 12 most contaminated veggies or fruits. Because of that, those would be the most harmful for your health.

They also create a list of the 15 cleanest, so you know what’s really safe for you and your family.

The Environmental Working Group uses data from the USDA on pesticides. Of course, in Canada, we have stricter rules concerning pesticides, but still… it gives you a good idea!

For instance, strawberry is the worst of all. One sample that was tested had as much as 22 pesticides in it. It’s so sad because it’s such a delicious fruit (one of my favorites, personally) 💔

In 2nd place, you have spinach.

The thing is many people recommend incorporating spinach to your diet. They’re full of vitamins and other great nutrients. But, eww; eating nonorganic spinach makes you ingest a lot of pesticides. Therefore, it’s way better to consume it organic to get all the benefits without any harmful substance.

Without future ado, here’s the complete list, ranked from super worst to less worst (but still bad):

  1. Strawberry
  2. Spinach
  3. Nectarine
  4. Apple
  5. Peach
  6. Pear
  7. Cherry
  8. Grape
  9. Celery (watch out if you’re juicing non organic celery juice)
  10. Tomato
  11. Sweet Bell Pepper
  12. Potato

What a sad list.

There are so many fruits that I love on it.

By the way, if you’re into juicing yourself, try to avoid using nonorganic ingredients that are in this list. Juicing makes you consume A LOT of fruits and/veggies in one shot… so it means you drink A LOT of pesticides.

Pesticides cocktail anyone?

That’s what I thought. No one really wants that 🤢

You probably also want to know what non-organics are safe for you? Here they are:

  1. Avocado
  2. Sweet corn
  3. Pineapple
  4. Cabbage
  5. Onion
  6. Frozen Sweet Pea
  7. Papaya
  8. Asparagus
  9. Mango
  10. Eggplant
  11. Honeydew
  12. Kiwi
  13. Cantaloupe
  14. Cauliflower
  15. Broccoli

You’re probably wondering… why are strawberry and spinach are the worst of all?

To understand better, let’s take a look at each one’s result during the testing of Environmental Working Group.

Strawberry 🍓

* A single sample of strawberry showed 22 different pesticides/pesticide breakdown product

* 20% of strawberries tested positive for 10 or more pesticides

* As much as 16% of strawberries contained carbendazim, an endocrine disruptor that harms the male reproductive system

Spinach 🍃

* Spinach samples had, on average, 1.8 as much pesticide residue by weight than any other crop. A lot more!

* On average, the level of pesticides on non-organic spinach equaled 7.1 different chemicals. Ouch!

* Their worst sample contained 18 different pesticides or pesticide breakdown.

So what’s so dangerous about the Dirty Dozen?

Fertility factor

Well, first of all, the report also focuses on the fact that high pesticide residue is linked to infertility. Harvard studies say:

* Women who ate produce with high pesticide residue levels (2 or more a day) had a 26% percent lower risk of having a successful pregnancy when compared to women who eat cleaner

* It also impacts male infertility: men who ingested more pesticides on fruits and veggies suffered from poorer sperm quality

Why does it matter? Because sperm counts of men living in North American, Australia, Europe and New Zealand have dropped 50 percent in less than 40 years.

Brain damage factor

The Dirty Dozen report also focused on chlorpyrifos, an insecticide you can find on:

  • Apples
  • Bell peppers
  • Peaches
  • Nectarines

Scientists reviewed the evidence and found chlorpyrifos to harm your child’s brain and behavior. Unfortunately, this insecticide will be allowed to use until 2022.

Can you wash all the pesticides?

Washing helps to remove some of it, so do it. Always.

But systemic pesticides are inside the product and can’t be washed.

Here are our final thoughts on this Dirty Dozen list:

* Try to avoid eating non-organic strawberries and spinach, they have high pesticide residue.

* Don’t stop eating fruits and vegetables because of this list, it is super important for your health. Always eat a lot, but choose organic when possible, especially when you want some among the list. Just be smart about it.

* Pesticides are linked to dozens of health problems, including some cancers, symptoms of ADHD, autism, Parkinson’s and a whole lot of other issues

* Keep in mind that this list is based on USA fruits and vegetables, in Canada we have stricter regulation, but still…you can never be too careful. 😉

P.S. We offer only organic cold pressed juices, organic juice cleanses and super celery, cucumber and leafy greens organic green juice.

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