Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Here’s the “Dirty Dozen”, beginning with the worst: apples, celery, strawberries, peaches, spinach, nectarines – imported, grapes – imported, sweet bell peppers, potatoes, blueberries – domestic, lettuce, kale/collard greens.
On the bright side, there is a great selection of produce with low pesticide residue. The “Clean 15”, beginning with the lowest in pesticide residue, are: onions, sweet corn, pineapples, avocado, asparagus, sweet peas, mangoes, eggplant, cantaloupe – domestic, kiwi, cabbage, watermelon, sweet potatoes, grapefruit, mushrooms.
The idea is to eat organic (or naturally grown) versions of the dirty dozen and reduce your consumption of this produce when organic isn’t available (like we’ll do with blueberries). Environmental Working Group points out that the health benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables outweigh the risks of pesticide exposure so you find the balance that works for your family.
To search organic producers in the province visit the Atlantic Canadian Organic Regional Network at http://www.acornorganic.org/. And at u-picks and farmer’s markets ask growers if they use natural growing practices. You’ll find that many don’t spray.