Better Bites

My experiments in healthy eating, cooking, and living

Week Three: Avoiding Dirty Dozen Produce

Photo Credit: EWG website -

Photo Credit: EWG website –

I am so happy to have been successful with adding leafy greens into my diet last week! I feel healthier just thinking about that one small success. Sometimes little changes pave the way for larger changes. This week I aim to update my shopping habits, as well as what I eat. In the past I’d heard of the dirty dozen, but I never really did much research on the list until recently. The dirty dozen is a list of fruits and vegetables that are known to have the most pesticides (even after washing them). The Environmental Working Group (EWG) lists twelve produce items and highlight two other vegetables that have very high amounts of pesticides. They also have a list titled the clean fifteen, which records the fifteen fruits and vegetables that had the lowest amount of pesticides in their study. Today, I bought organic bell peppers, spinach, and apples. From the “clean” guide I bought conventional sweet potatoes, eggplant, avocado, and sweet corn (corn may be full of GMO’s, but more on that later).

Ingesting pesticides is unhealthy and it is something I am working at changing. Shopping organic can be expensive, which is why I don’t always buy organic. Also, all fruits and vegetables aren’t always offered pesticide-free, so I buy what I can when I can. From here on I will try to avoid items on the dirty dozen guide at all costs. What are your feelings on pesticides in and on food? I was surprised to read several haunting facts on the EWG website. According to the EWG, a single grape had as many as fifteen types of pesticides on it. I think I’ll pass on the grapes for now, until I can find organic ones. Bell peppers were also found to contain up to fifteen pesticides. It blew my mind to read that. I’ve eaten so many conventionally grown bell peppers, but from now on I’m not willing to take the risk. This week will feature recipes that feature items from both lists.


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