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Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen

We all know that a healthy, sustainable vegan diet includes lots of fresh produce, but when dangerous pesticide residues remain on many crops, they turn healthy into harmful. An apple a day, bathed in pesticides, surely won’t keep the doctor away.

Pesticides used in farming today present health risks to all of us, and particularly to children and those with health problems. The toxicity can include disruptions in the normal functioning of the nervous and endocrine systems, and increased risks of cancer. Not what I want to think about when I’m biting into a fresh, juicy peach.

Thankfully, the Environmental Working Group publishes a list each year of the produce with the most and least toxic residues. Famously known as the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen, this list is a guide to help us make more informed choices about the produce we eat. Apples have topped the Dirty Dozen list for the past five years, but this year, we have a new winner; strawberries. The recommendation from the EWG is to avoid the 12 dirtiest offenders and buy organic. Some folks have problems with that, as even organic farmers use certain pesticides on their crops. While that may be true, I’d rather have less, not more on my fruits and veggies. Our best bets to ensure our compassionate and healthy lifestyle does the least harm is to; grow as many of your own fruits and veggies as you can, shop at your local farm and farmers markets so you can ask questions, and buy organic when you can. Here’s the lists for 2016:


Environmental Working Group
EWG’s 2016 lists to help us shop smarter



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