These days, purchasing food isn’t as simple as it should be. Often, most of the food we find in our local supermarket has been internationally imported. While this can be great if you’re searching for produce which is out of season locally, it can come with lots of unknowns. Check out this list called ‘The Dirty Dozen’ which collates 12 foods you should definitely be buying organic wherever possible! We also share a super handy DIY fruit & veggie wash!
This list has been collated from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and lists the 12 most concerning fruits and vegetables when it comes to pesticide exposure. To test these, they have brought home the produce from the grocery store and washed it - just like we normally would at home. The list below shows the fruits and vegetables which still held the highest residue of pesticide contamination, therefore we would recommend purchasing these products organically to try and avoid these harmful chemicals.
While we recommend buying organic wherever possible, this can often be expensive and time consuming. So by focusing on this short list of the most heavily contaminated, you know you’re avoiding the worst of the worst!
We’ve also included a DIY recipe below too from a website called ‘The Kitchn’ which is an easy DIY fruit and vegetable wash for all your produce once you bring it home, or even if you pick it straight out of your own garden. We love keeping ours in the kitchen in an easy spray bottle which makes the entire process super easy!
The Dirty Dozen:
1. Strawberries - These top the list as the most pesticide contaminated food. Luckily for us in New Zealand, it’s rather easy to find a local berry farm. I often find that they taste better too!
2. Spinach - ‘Spinach has more pesticide residue by weight (despite their very light weight) than any other vegetable’. Check out your local farmer’s market for some locally grown spinach!
As for all these foods, be sure to check out when they are in season to help you get to know what you’ll expect to find at your local farmer’s market! Check out our seasonal produce printables which you can source here on our free printable page.
3. Kale - 2019 is the first time in 10 years which kale has made this list! Much like spinach, kale is super easy to grow in your own garden too so consider planting it if you have the room!
4. Nectarines - samples of this beautiful fruit have been found with residue of over 15 different pesticides on it!
5. Apples - this isn’t just a concern if you’re eating apples with the peel on too, the chemicals used in some orchards can easily pass through the thin peel and into the flesh!
6. Grapes - I think we all saw this one coming! Grapes have a funky residue on them if you don’t wash them well enough! Highly recommend checking out our DIY fruit and vegetable wash to help with this!
7. Peaches - this cousin to the nectarine is just as troublesome when it comes to pesticides!
8. Cherries - gosh these are delicious around the Christmas time, but be sure to look our for local, spray free producers for your Christmas day table!
9. Pears - not much beats a juicy pear in my opinion!
10. Tomatoes - these are fun and easy to grow in your own garden, otherwise check out your local market or even look for an organic canned option in your supermarket!
11. Celery - perfect for soups and stews but without the pesticides included please!
12. Potatoes - we’ve planted potatoes for the first time this year and now I know that we’ll be continuing too! I didn’t expect this to be on the list but I’m seriously glad I know!
Next time you’re about to head to the grocery store, stop and check if you are able to source any of your produce locally and organically first! By focusing on buying just these 12 produce items organically, you can feed your family worry free without breaking your wallet too.
For all produce, we recommend giving them a good wash once you get home from the store or pick them out of your garden.
This isn’t just to remove some nasty pesticide residue, it’s also to help wash off all the bacteria from the many hands which handled your produce before you picked it out!
Rinse with cool water. Use a scrubbing brush for thicker-skinned produce at this stage too if you like.
Pat dry and they’re ready to use!
For leafy greens, we recommend making up a seperate spray which replaces the 1 tbsp of lemon juice with 1 tbsp of salt. Repeat as you would with the DIY fruit and vegetable wash and only use right before eating. Otherwise, be sure to dry it thoroughly and place in an air tight container to maintain freshness!
Recipe Source: https://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-your-own-fruit-and-veggie-wash-256797
We hope you find this blog post informative and helpful for your next grocery shop, we know we found it rather shocking! This year we’ve been working really hard to shop locally and seasonally, we’ve also been trying to grow as much as we can. However, being aware of the foods we should be paying particular attention too is a great way to make informed decisions about your purchasing choices!
From our home to yours,
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