Food is Medicine. Eating organic is crucial on the way to recovery from an illness. The body is already working hard to heal itself and any support to keep toxins and pesticides far away will only help.
Unfortunately it can be financially demanding to buy everything organic. Here is more info on the “Dirty Dozen” with the highest toxicity levels which should be avoided or being bought organic and on the “Clean Fifteen” with the lowest toxicity levels:
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE DIRTY DOZEN™ FOR 2018
For the 2018 Dirty Dozen list, EWG singled out produce with the highest loads of pesticide residues. This year the list includes, in descending order, strawberries, spinach, nectarines, apples, grapes, peaches, cherries, pears, tomatoes, celery, potatoes and sweet bell peppers.
Each of these foods tested positive for a number of different pesticide residues and contained higher concentrations of pesticides than other produce.
- More than 98 percent of samples of strawberries, spinach, peaches, nectarines, cherries and apples tested positive for residue of at least one pesticide.
- A single sample of strawberries showed 20 different pesticides.
- Spinach samples had, on average, 1.8 times as much pesticide residue by weight than any other crop.
THE CLEAN FIFTEEN™
EWG’s Clean Fifteen list of produce least likely to contain pesticide residues included avocados, sweet corn, pineapples, cabbages, onions, frozen sweet peas, papayas, asparagus, mangoes, eggplants, honeydews, kiwis, cantaloupes, cauliflower and broccoli. Relatively few pesticides were detected on these foods, and tests found low total concentrations of pesticide residues.
- Avocados and sweet corn were the cleanest. Less than 1 percent of samples showed any detectable pesticides.
- More than 80 percent of pineapples, papayas, asparagus, onions and cabbages had no pesticide residues.
- No single fruit sample from the Clean Fifteen tested positive for more than four pesticides.
- Multiple pesticide residues are extremely rare on Clean Fifteen vegetables. Only 5 percent of Clean Fifteen vegetable samples had two or more pesticides.
GENETICALLY ENGINEERED CROPS, OR GMOS
Most processed foods typically contain one or more ingredients derived from genetically engineered crops, such as corn syrup and corn oil made from predominantly GMO starchy field corn. Yet GMO foods are not often found in the fresh produce section of American supermarkets. According to the USDA, a small percentage of zucchini, yellow squash and sweet corn is genetically modified.2 Most Hawaiian papaya is GMO.
Because federal law does not require labeling of genetically engineered produce, EWG advises people who want to avoid GMO crops to purchase organically grown sweet corn, papayas, zucchini and yellow squash. For processed foods, look for items that are certified organic or bear the Non-GMO Project Verified label. EWG recommends that consumers check EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Avoiding GMO Food, Food Scores database and EWG’s Healthy Living app, which can help identify foods likely to contain genetically engineered ingredients. GMO labeling is important because agribusinesses are currently testing other varieties of GMO crops, which the USDA may approve in the future.