According to the Environmental Working Group, most of our essential fresh fruits and vegetables contain pesticides. They have listed:

The ''Dirty Dozen'' (starting with the worst)

  • peaches
  • apples
  • sweet bell peppers
  • celery
  • nectarines
  • strawberries
  • cherries
  • pears
  • grapes (imported) I suspect all grapes!! But I buy them
  • spinach
  • lettuce
  • potatoes

The ''Cleanest 12'' (starting with the best)

  • onions
  • avocados
  • sweet corn (frozen)
  • pineapples
  • mangoes
  • asparagus
  • sweet peas (frozen)
  • kiwi fruit
  • bananas
  • cabbage
  • broccoli
  • papaya

Now, unless you want a very restricted diet, it is worth doing a few things to help remove pesticides and bacteria on the dirty dozen and most of the clean ones. Some swear that soaking in a solution of one tablespoon of bleach per gallon of water will remove pesticides. I can find no scientific proof. However, at least it will kill most bacteria. Be sure to rinse thoroughly with cold water afterwards. Peel those things which can be peeled and rinse again. We raise as many of our fruits and veggies as possible, but I do not hesitate to buy fresh ones when needed. Organic does not guarantee anything in today's world of loose use of terms but if it looks healthy and fresh, organic may be better. Even with pesticides, fresh fruits and veggies are essential and far better than fast junk foods, pop, McDonald's and its clones and dead packaged foods!

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