Have you Heard About the ‘Dirty Dozen’ Food List?

In a time where people are opting for healthier food choices in an act to clean up their diet, just how clean is your diet?

Introducing the ‘Dirty Dozen’ a list of 12 fruit and vegetables highest at risk of pesticide exposure in the agricultural industry. The list was compiled by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) in their report summary of the use of pesticides in the agricultural industry.

The foods identified in this list are the most affected and treated, to combat this I would suggest giving organic foods a shot.

Organic, something about the word always seems so distant to me, it screams expensive, stuck-up and gimmick-like. However, the fact is organic foods aren’t treated with pesticides which have evidence to suggest they can increase the risk of cancers, being linked to infertility risks and also immune/nervous systems. The dose needed to ignite these risks would be much higher than the average human would consume from just eating pesticide treated foods alone but the build-up over time of these chemicals may contribute to negative health effects.

So what can you do? Like I said organic foods are the best solution, however I do agree that they are much more expensive than their ‘dirty’ counterparts, therefore I’d recommend starting with switching one or two of the foods on the list that you commonly buy for the organic version. Personally I eat a lot of apples, which happen to be on the list, going organic eliminates this threat.

Let me guess, you want to see the list? Ok, here you go:

EWG Dirty Dozen
Photo credit – HealthImpactNews

I wouldn’t let the list scare you too much, more of just a healthy reminder to try to limit or replace these foods with their organic alternatives if you can afford to – if not then don’t worry or maybe opt for some more of the foods from the alternate end of the spectrum – the ‘Clean Fifteen’. Usually the fruit and vegetables with a thick skin which you don’t eat, the food we eat is protected by this skin and is generally untouched by pesticides – phew! Heres the list:

Image credit – Health Personal Training

So there you have it, a little tip on how to really clean up your diet this January, again if you don’t have the extra cash to go fully organic then try to substitute one or two items and give that a try, if not then opt for more of the ‘cleaner’ foods.

I could go more science-y with this and put my Biology degree to some use but I’ll spare you the details for now, if you want to find out more I’d suggest doing some reading around the topic of organic foods, pesticides and the agricultural industry, WHO and EWG are pretty reliable sources for information!

– Jack


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