Minimizing Pesticide Exposure: Know the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen!

More Proof for the Healing Power of Mother Nature’s Gifts!
August 13, 2018
The Clean Fifteen!
September 17, 2018


Enough scientific data exists to document the toxic effects of organophosphate and pyrethroid insecticides and GMO crops that synthetic pesticide and GMO toxicity can’t be denied whether one chooses to act on this data or ignore it. 

And it does come down to individual choice because, in spite of all the amazing watchdog groups, our government and the food industry are not going to make the problem go away any time soon. Chronic inflammatory diseases, cancer, ADHD, fertility and cognitive challenges have all been linked to pesticide/GMO exposures. So, if you are seeking to avoid or heal from these types of issues, I urge you to not ignore the compelling research and to buy as much organic produce as you can. To do so, you might need to revisit the argument that the cost of organic produce is just too high. Some of you have experienced and I have witnessed now thousands of times, the far higher cost of being sick, not able to work, and/or having your life, or that of a loved one, revolve around illness.  

The incredible Environmental Working Group (EWG) produces an annual list of what is known as the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen to help us determine where we can more safely purchase conventionally grown produce if we can’t always afford or find organic. 

According to the EWG, the USDA has identified 230 different pesticides on non-organic produce.  By analyzing 38,000 produce samples, the USDA discovered that almost 70% of conventionally grown fruits and vegetables were contaminated with pesticide residue, with some as high as 98%. Based on these USDA findings, the EWG creates their annual list. In part one of this article, I present their 2018 list of the dirty dozen along with very brief rationales for being included there. In part II, I will do the same with the clean 15.  

Dirty Dozen

  1. Strawberries: sampling revealed many had 10+ different pesticide residues with an overall 98% contamination rate 
  1. Spinach: had twice as much pesticide residue by weight than any other dirty dozen. One of those pesticides was permethrin, a known neurotoxin
  1. Nectarines: had 15 different types of pesticide residue 
  1. Apples: 4/5th of all conventionally grown apples contained diphenylamine, a pesticide banned in Europe.
  1. Grapes: over 96% of grapes tested positive for pesticides.
  1. Peaches: averaged four different pesticides per sample.
  1. Cherries: 1/3 contained iprodione, a pesticide banned in Europe as a possible carcinogen
  1. Pears: were found to not only contain pesticides but also fungicides such as Captan, a member of the thalidomide family of chemicals.
  1. Tomatoes: averaged four different pesticides per sample.
  1. Celery: More than 95% of sampled (non-organic) celery tested positive for pesticides.
  1. Potatoes: were found to contain chlorpropham, a central nervous system depressant.
  1. Sweet bell peppers: although they contain fewer pesticides than other produce, the EWG reports that the types of pesticides they do contain are generally more toxic.

According to an article by Natural Health 365, “For the first time, the EWG added a 13th food to the list – a special “(Dis-?) Honorable Mention” tacked on for good measure. 739 samples of hot peppers revealed residues of acephate, chlorpyrifos and oxamyl – a trio of toxins which have been banned from use on many other food crops.”

So now you know which produce is most important to purchase organic – or possibly avoid if you can’t. When we are desiring to heal from cancer specifically or regain our health in general, the foods that we eat – and don’t eat play a very large role. Use this list to guide you with regards to the produce you choose as medicine. Next week we will complete the list by identifying the clean fifteen; the produce that can be purchased as conventionally grown (non-organic) far more safely. 

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Our next article will feature “The Clean Fifteen”