A Shoppers Guide To Pesticides
Whilst filming for 'Food Matters 2' (working title, new one coming soon) we were lucky enough to spend a weekend with Kris Carr (www.crazysexylife.com) and her husband Brian in Woodstock, NY. It is thanks to these two lovelies that we found out about this great quick reference guide and why we are sharing it with you today. Thank you Kris and Brian. - James Colquhoun - Producer 'Food Matters'
About the guide
The Shopper's Guide to Pesticides is a key resource for consumers looking for healthier low toxin diets. Since many shoppers can't always find or afford organic produce, they can use the Shopper's Guide to avoid those conventional fruits and vegetables found to be highest in pesticides – the Dirty Dozen – and, instead, choose items from the Clean Fifteen list. The health benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables outweigh the risks of pesticide exposure.
Use the Environmental Working Group's Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides to reduce your exposure as much as possible, because eating conventionally-grown produce is far better than not eating fruits and vegetables at all. The Shopper’s Guide will help you determine which fruits and vegetables have the most pesticide residues and so are the most important to buy organic. You can lower your pesticide consumption by nearly four-fifths by avoiding the 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables and instead eating the least contaminated produce, according to EWG calculations.
Why Should You Care About Pesticides?
The growing consensus among scientists is that small doses of pesticides and other chemicals can cause lasting damage to human health, especially during fetal development and early childhood. Scientists now know enough about the long-term consequences of ingesting these powerful chemicals to advise that we minimize our consumption of pesticides.
What’s the Difference?
EWG research has found that people who eat five fruits and vegetables a day from the Dirty DozenTM list consume an average of 10 pesticides a day. Those who eat from the 15 least contaminated conventionally-grown fruits and vegetables ingest fewer than 2 pesticides daily. The Guide helps consumers make informed choices to lower their dietary pesticide load.
Will Washing and Peeling Help?
The data used to create these lists is based on produce tested as it is typically eaten (meaning washed, rinsed or peeled, depending on the type of produce). Rinsing reduces but does not eliminate pesticides. Peeling helps, but valuable nutrients often go down the drain with the skin. The best approach: eat a varied diet, rinse all produce and buy organic when possible.
How Was This Guide Developed?
EWG analysts have developed the Guide based on data from nearly 89,000 tests for pesticide residues in produce conducted between 2000 and 2008 and collected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. You can find a detailed description of the criteria EWG used to develop these rankings and the complete list of fruits and vegetables tested at their dedicated website, www.foodnews.org.