The dirty dozen list is often used by consumers to help them choose what fruits and vegetables to buy organic. As wonderful as this list is, it is important to keep in mind that it only includes the worst offenders. There are still other produce items that contain significant levels of pesticides. These are also fruits and vegetables to buy organic whenever your budget allows. It will increase your grocery bill slightly, but you can feel good knowing that you are limiting your exposure to pesticides.
Although bananas are not on the dirty dozen list, it is still a good idea to purchase organic bananas. Banana crops are intensively sprayed with pesticides and fungicides. In fact, it is estimated that cultivators use 35 pounds of pesticides per acre! While bananas do have a thick skin to protect them from pesticides, the fruit does still have some pesticide residue. Peeling bananas doesn’t make them 100 percent pesticide free! Aside from bananas, there are other fruits and vegetables to buy organic that are not on the dirty dozen list.
Cherries used to be on the dirty dozen list, but they were not included on the list this year. Despite not being included on the dirty dozen list, cherries do still contain significant levels of pesticides that you can’t peel away. During their growth cycle, cherries are sprayed 8 to 10 times with up to 42 different pesticides. To avoid being exposed to all of those pesticides, it is best to purchase organic cherries.
Surprisingly, pears are not included on the dirty dozen list. Yet, they are sprayed with up to 40 different pesticides and they can have significant pesticide residue. They also have a very thin skin that does little to protect them from the pesticides. Therefore, it is a good idea to purchase organic pears.
Lettuce may not be on the dirty dozen list, but it came close to making the cut, which is why you should still try to buy organic lettuce. Lettuce grows close to the ground and readily absorbs pesticides. Actually, lettuce absorbs so many pesticides that it has the third highest pesticide load of all the vegetables.
Eating conventional green beans may seem like it is okay since green beans are not on the dirty dozen list. However, they are sprayed with up to 44 different pesticides. Since the whole green bean is eaten, it is a good idea to purchase organic green beans so you can avoid all of those pesticides.
Carrots are another vegetable that may seem like they are okay to eat conventionally since you can peel them. However, carrots readily absorb heavy metals from the soil. In fact, carrots are so good at absorbing heavy metals that they are sometimes used to get rid of arsenic in the soil and then thrown away! Because of their ability to absorb heavy metals, you should stick to organic carrots.
Winter squash may have a hard skin, but it absorbs pesticides that are in the soil into its flesh. Dieldrin is one pesticide in particular that winter squash absorbs from the soil. Dieldrin is a carcinogen and it disrupts hormones. So, while the hard skin may be deceiving, it is worth buying organic squash.
The dirty dozen list is a great list to use as a guide for what produce you need to buy organic. However, there are still other fruits and vegetables that are not on the list that you should try and buy organic. Do you purchase organic produce?