At Home in Nature

  (Agate, Colorado)
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Top crops for cheimcals

When you’re doing your grocery shopping next time, here’s a report you might want to consider.  The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has recently published its seventh annual “Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce” which presents a list of the produce that has the most and least pesticide residue on it.  This does not mean that the produce on the list had the most or least pesticides applied, but rather tests the amount still on it by the time you are ready to eat it.  The point of the guide is to allow you to pick which fruits and vegetables you may want to consume in place of others while still getting your daily minimum fruits and vegetables for a healthy diet, NOT to discourage you from eating fruits and vegetables entirely!  It is important to note that all the produce, even the “worst” fruit of the list, still falls well below the safe levels set by the EPA, so all of the produce on the list had safe levels.

Here’s the report’s fndings, as published on


The highest levels of pesticide residue -- and dubbed EWG's "Dirty Dozen" are:






6.Imported nectarines

7.Imported grapes

8.Sweet bell peppers




12.Kale/collard greens


The produce with lowest levels of pesticide residue as determined by the EWG, starting with what ranked the lowest, are:


2.Sweet Corn





Debuting on the list this year is cilantro, which had not been previously tested by the USDA. The data showed 33 unapproved pesticides on 44% of the cilantro samples, which the EWG said was the highest percentage recorded on any items included in the guide since the data tracking started in 1995. Green onions (ranked No. 29), cranberries (No. 36) and mushrooms (No. 39) were also newcomers to the list.


Black tea instead of soap or detergent!

Try using black tea as a natural and safe alternative to dish soap or hand soap!  Or even a metal scouring pad!  It really does work and in our tests, we pitted tea against brillo steel pads, treated with oxyclean, regular dish soap, and just warm water.

Black tea worked better than a steel pad every time!

It even cleans floors safely!

And if you like to drink tea, too, try growing your own! Black and green tea come from a species of plant native to Asia, but which is readily available from several sources including Territorial Seed Company in Oregon (  Tea plants require warm temperatures, and do well in greenhouses or as house plants.  Besides tasting good, they also have pretty flowers!

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