The USDA’s The New Dirty Dozen: 12 Foods to Eat Organic©
Recently I read a report or rather several reports that
identified 12 foods you should eat provided they are organic because the 12
foods the USDA 2011 list highlighted were loaded with pesticides.
Here is the list.
1. At the top of the 2011 dirty dozen list are Apples. (Apples ranked No. 2 in 2009
and No. 4 in 2010.) More than 40 different pesticides have been detected on
apples, because fungus and insect threats prompt farmers to spray various chemicals
on their orchards. Not surprisingly, pesticide residue is also found in apple
juice and apple sauce, making all apple products smart foods to buy organic.
I know you think that peeling apples will reduce exposure to
pesticide residue, but be aware that you're peeling away many of the fruit's
most beneficial nutrients when you do so!
When you can't find organic apples then try the safer
alternatives which include watermelon, bananas and tangerines.
2. Celery again made it onto the
dirty dozen list. It's a good one to commit to memory, since it doesn't fit the
three main categories of foods with the highest pesticide residue (tree fruits,
berries and leafy greens). USDA tests have found more than 60 different
pesticides on celery. If you cannot find organic celery try safer alternatives
such as broccoli, radishes and onions.
3. Strawberries (my
favorite) are always on the list of dirty dozen foods, in part because fungus
prompts farmers to spray, and pesticide residue remains on berries sold at
market. Nearly 60 different pesticides have been found on strawberries, though
fewer are found on frozen strawberries. When you cannot find organic
strawberries try safer alternatives such as kiwi and pineapples.
though we hate to see it on the dirty dozen list it is always there. More than
60 pesticides have been found on peaches and nearly as many in single-serving
packs, but surprisingly far fewer in canned peaches. Try eating some safer
alternatives which include watermelon, tangerines, oranges and grapefruit.
5. Popeye would be appalled to find Spinach on the list since it is loaded with nearly 50 different
pesticides. While frozen spinach has nearly as many, canned has had fewer
6. For those of us who love Nectarines, they too are on the deadly dozen list, at least
imported ones, are among the most highly contaminated tree fruits. Domestic
nectarines don't test with as much pesticide residue, but overall 33 pesticides
have been detected on nectarines. So if you are having a hard time finding
organic nectarines try pineapple, papaya or mango.
especially imported grapes keep appearing on the dirty dozen list. Imported
grapes can have more than 30 pesticides. Raisins, not surprisingly, also have
high pesticide residue tests. So how does that affect the wine we drink since I
have not discovered, to date, any watch groups checking on pesticides in wine.
However, there are some wineries making organic wine.
8. It was with a sad heart to discover that Sweet Bell Peppers makes the dirty
dozen list again because it tends to have high pesticide residue in all of its
colorful varieties. Nearly 50 different pesticides have been detected on sweet
9. Alas, America's
favorite vegetable is the potato;
unfortunately, more than 35 pesticides have been detected on potatoes in USDA
testing. Sweet potatoes offer a delicious alternative with less chance of
10. The USDA did not exclude blueberries as it usually makes the dirty dozen list, since more
than 50 pesticides have been detected as residue on them. Frozen blueberries
have proved somewhat less contaminated. If you are wondering about cherries and
cranberries as obvious alternatives they are often contaminated themselves. For
breakfast cereal, if you can't find organic blueberries, consider topping your
cereal with bananas.
11. Lettuce joins
in the leafy greens category. Lettuce makes the list of dirty dozen foods with
the most pesticides. More than 50 pesticides have been identified on lettuce.
If you can't find organic lettuce a healthy alternative is asparagus.
12. Kale is a
superfood and since kale is known as a hardier vegetable that rarely suffers
from pests and disease, the USDA has found Kale to have high amounts of
pesticide residue when tested in each of the past two years. Try to find
organic Kale and if you have no luck consider safer alternatives such as
organic cabbage, asparagus and broccoli. Dandelion greens also make a
nutritious alternative. Put on par with kale for the 2011 dirty dozen list, collard greens tests have revealed more
than 45 pesticides. It may be hard to find organic collard greens so look for
organic Brussels sprouts, dandelion greens and cabbage.
At this point one needs to be seriously thinking about what
one puts into one’s mouth if one is trying to eat healthy and while I am at it
lets take a look at milk. One report I read stated, “Pesticides and other
man-made chemicals have been found in human breast milk, so it should come as
no surprise that they have been found in dairy products, too. Twelve different
pesticides have been identified in milk, and milk is of special concern because
it is a staple of a child's diets.” Years ago my family owned dairy farms and
when a cow had mastitis we injected them with penicillin which does not break
down in the milk processing so I wonder if that may be the reason so many kids
or even grownups are allergic to penicillin.
I did find a list of vegetables and fruits called “The clean
15 green” and they include 1. Onions
2. Sweet Corn, 3. Pineapple, 4. Avocado , 5. Asparagus, 6. Sweet peas, 7. Mango
8. Eggplant, 9. Cantaloupe (domestic), 10. Kiwi, 11. Cabbage, 12. Watermelon,
13. Sweet Potatoes,
14. Grapefruit, 15. Mushrooms
Apparently these fruits and vegetables are so clean one does
not have to buy organic.
Don’t think that you can load up on meat because one must
remember that just because there are generally no pesticides found in beef
muscle there are lots of them found in the fat. Fewer than a dozen pesticides
have been detected in beef fat, but among them are long-lived chemicals that
accumulate in human fats just as they do in beef cattle. The same pattern holds
for other meats, with pork fat and chicken thighs tallying the most pesticide
residue, while lean meat comes up clean. I guess Jack Sprat might have called
For those of us who garden and use heirloom, organic seeds
and practice organic gardening we are fairly safe as long as we do not indulge
ourselves with a lot of packaged foods that contain mystery additives that
change our own and our children’s moods and reproduction ability. The vast
majority of consumers will just have to pay attention or risk cancer and other
things that have come along on the ride with pesticides.
Tread the Earth Lightly,
Home Farm Herbery
Posted by Arlene
@ 08:28 AM CST