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By Leisa Wheeler N.D.
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The Clean 15 vs The Dirty Dozen

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Please excuse me if I am repeating old information, but the concept of the “Clean 15” and “Dirty Dozen” was just brought to my attention recently. A little behind the 8 ball there I’ll admit… But better late than never! I thought I’d share it in case you too missed the memo…

I have been diligently buying my groceries at my local organic grocer for years now. Yes, I am one of those people that have accepted that $5.00 for an avocado is sometimes just the price you pay. Luckily my partner hates avocado and we don’t have kids, therefore I can budget 1-2 organic avocados into my weekly shop without breaking the bank. (I buy avocado instead of alcohol and junk food!). But last week at the Embracing Health Detox Retreat in Bali, our awesome raw food guru Andrea told me all about this “Clean 15”. Apparently I could have been buying non-organic avocados this whole time without fear of chemical exposure!

Here is the list of 15 conventionally grown fruit and veggies with little to no traces of pesticides:

  • onions
  • avocados
  • sweet corn
  • pineapples
  • mango
  • sweet peas
  • asparagus
  • kiwi fruit
  • cabbage
  • eggplant
  • rockmelon
  • watermelon
  • grapefruit
  • sweet potatoes
  • sweet onions

Now I’m not exactly sure what a ‘sweet onion’ is, but a quick Google search told me it was a non-pungent, low sulphur onion and pictured a large white bulb with green stalks. Also, ‘sweet corn’ is just corn to me. I’ve never come across bitter corn, or salty corn (only pop corn and baby corn!).

So the about-face of the “Clean 15” is the “Dirty Dozen”. When conventionally grown, the fruits and vegetables on the “Dirty Dozen” list tested positive for at least 47 different chemicals, with some testing positive for as many as 67. These are the ORGANIC ONLY items. Unless you don’t mind added chemicals with your salad. This list includes:

  • celery
  • peaches
  • strawberries
  • apples
  • blueberries
  • nectarines
  • sweet bell peppers
  • spinach, kale and collard greens
  • cherries
  • potatoes
  • grapes
  • lettuce

I know these lists were great for me when looking at the weekly shopping list. I have now relaxed my organic only rule in our household and am happy saving a few dollars doing it. I still wash all my fruit and veggies (especially the non organic ones) with a natural fruit and veggie wash such as those from SafeGuard or EnviroClean. I also aim to buy all my non organic fruit and veg from local farmers markets- at least then I know my produce is local, hasn’t been in cold storage or shipped thousands of kilometers to get to me.

Oh my goodness, do you know what this means!?!? It means coconut oil sautéed asparagus spears and red onion with thick slabs of creamy avocado on sprouted spelt grain toast! It means an abundance of pineapples and mangoes as the weather warms up, yes I CAN put them in my smoothies and not feel I am ‘wasting’ them! It means not limiting myself to 2 pink grapefruit (the size of softballs) per week, and savouring each little segment and the ruby jewels it contains! Happy days!

I hope this news (albeit old news) has made your day too!



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