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Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen

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19th March 2015

By Garrick Dee

Guest Writer for Wake Up World

In this modern era of fast living we are so busy that we ignore the environment around us. Here’s a sobering fact – we are bombarded with pesticides, literally billions of pounds of them. Based on this report by the, in 2007 over 5 billion pounds of pesticides was used in the United States alone and 877 million pounds of those are used in agriculture – yes that’s right that’s where our food source comes from.

On a side note: that report was done over 7 years ago so I’m guessing that number goes up.

Among the most lethal pesticides used are organophosphates and based on the report above it is still being used extensively, around 33 million pounds (back in 2007). The negative effects of organophosphate exposure can’t be ignored – studies have shown that it can cause developmental problems in children, cause issues with pregnancy and reproductive health. It also has been linked to diseases like leukemia, lymphoma and Parkinson’s disease.

That’s just one in many chemicals used by pesticide manufacturers and there are a lot more out there. My point is we have to be careful when shopping for produce and try to minimize if not totally avoid pesticide exposure because our lives are at stake.

We can do this by looking at theEnvironmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen. These are a list of the dirtiest and cleanest produce based on pesticide residue. It guides you by arming you with the knowledge of which items to buy organic and conventional. Obviously you’d for the dirty dozen you’d want to buy organic and you can opt for conventionally grown produce for the clean fifteen.

EWG also has a special section called the dirty dozen plus that list three items that contain traces of hazardous pesticides that are hazardous to our nervous system, these are collard greens, kale and hot pepper.

If you’re familiar with the dirty dozen, this is the infographic version that has a few special sections as well. One of them is that it lists five places where you can buy organic fruits and vegetables at a cheaper price. I know everyone loves a good deal so make sure to check that out.


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