It goes without saying that mum was right when she encouraged us to eat our fruit and vegetables.  Fruits and vegetables are a primary source of all sorts of wonderful nutrients to maintain the health of the body.

However, in most cases, mum was not quite aware of all of the detrimental processes involved with the growing of fruits and vegetables.  Specifically, because of the need for a larger and greater supply of food, various measures are being taken to increase vegetables and fruit crops.  One of those significant and detrimental measures to protect the crop is through the use of insecticides.

Therefore, it is important to understand what is being eaten.  Consequently in doing so it is important to know what fruits and vegetables have been deemed as the ‘Dirty Dozen’ (Foods you must eat organic if you want to avoid insecticides and the like) and what vegetables and fruits have been labeled as ‘The Clean 15’ (Those which are safe to eat non-organic).

Dirty Dozen

The list of the 12 most dirty or tainted fruits and vegetables include the following items: celery, apple, strawberries, peach, nectarines, grapes, blueberries, sweet bell peppers, spinach, broccoli and kale (classed as collard greens), potatoes and lettuce.

These products were identified through a listing compiled by the United States Department of Agriculture on the tested amounts of residue from pesticides found in these non-organic vegetables and fruits.

The reason why these particular fruits and vegetables have been labeled together as the dirty dozen is because of their ability to soak in more pesticides than the other vegetables that are produced.  Consequently, these dirty dozen products maintain saturated level of pesticides within their skin and core.  Subsequently, when you eat these products you are not only ingesting the fruit and vegetable, but also taking in the saturated pesticides contained in these particular items.

Time for a change?


The Clean 15

In addition to the Dirty Dozen there were 15 non-organic fruits and vegetables that were identified as being clean from significant amounts of pesticide.

Those vegetable items include sweet potatoes, eggplant, mushrooms, cabbage, asparagus, sweet peas, corn, avocados and onions.  The fruits that were identified as part of the clean 15 list included pineapples, mango, kiwi fruit, cantaloupe, watermelon and grapefruit.

The rationale given as to why some non-organic fruit and vegetables absorb more of the pesticides than other non-organic fruit and vegetables is due to the composition.  Specifically, the clean fruits and vegetables have some sort of additional outer layer defense system or skin that helps to reduce the saturation of pesticides into the edible part of the fruit or vegetable.

Whereas in the cases of the Dirty Dozen, the exact opposite is true in that there is no outer layer associated with the fruit or vegetable.  Therefore, the edible part of the produce item can also become saturated with the pesticide.

So, are you willing to eat herbicides, pesticides and other sprays along with your food or are you the type who likes eating clean, nutrient rich, ‘cide’ free food? Comment below!