The “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean 15”

The “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean 15”

Could an apple a day really keep the doctor away?  Maybe, but that apple may be covered in pesticides.

The health benefits of fruits and vegetables are irresputable, to put it simply they are good for you.  The downside to them is if they are laden with chemicals that are toxic to your nervous system.  Producers use these chemicals to keep the bugs away or to produce better yields.  Today I wanted to talk about the pesticides and how to avoid them when shopping.

According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) “Picking five servings of fruits and vegetables from the 12 most contaminated would cause you to consume an average of 14 different pesticides a day,”   They compiled this data from the USDA pesticide data program in which food samples that were ready to be eaten were used, which means they were washed or peeled before testing.

I don’t know if you have kids, but mine love to eat apples over just about every other fruit. Year in and year out the highest levels of chemicals are found in apples and celery and if you are looking for a place to start that would be it.

On the flip side choosing fruits and vegetables from the “Clean 15” list is a great way to limit chemicals in your produce selection.  According to EWG eating foods from the “Clean 15” list will slash the pesticide volume by more than 90%!  A few of the produce items in this list include onions, sweet corn, pineapples and avocado.


“Dirty Dozen”

  1. Apples
  2. Celery
  3. Cherry Tomatoes
  4. Cucumbers
  5. Grapes
  6. Hot Peppers
  7. Nectarines (Imported)
  8. Peaches
  9. Potatoes
  10. Spinach
  11. Strawberries
  12. Sweet Bell Peppers

Pesticides of Special Concern

  • Collards and Kale
  • Summer Squash and Zucchini

“Clean 15”

      1. Asparagus
      2. Avocado
      3. Cabbage
      4. Cantaloupe
      5. Corn
      6. Eggplant
      7. Grapefruit
      8. Kiwi
      9. Mangos
      10. Mushrooms
      11. Onions
      12. Papayas
      13. Pineapple
      14. Sweet Peas (frozen)
      15. Sweet Potatoes

With the price of organic being higher than their pesticide laden counter parts, These lists is where should you start.  You can download a handy shopper’s guide that is put out by the Environmental Working Group that will make it easier to see what items are most important to choose organic when you are out shopping.

Dr. Mathew Ullom is a Chiropractor in Fort Collins who is concerned for the health of his community, spending much of his time trying to educated individuals on how to live healthier lives.  If you would like to schedule a free consultation to discuss your health concerns, call 970-491-9191..

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