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EWG Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce

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by Mila McManus, MD

The 2022 Shopper’s Guide for Produce from the Environmental Working Group is out.  This is a wonderful guideline to help you determine which produce you should always buy organic versus those that don’t necessarily need to be purchased organic.  It sure is helpful to know how to avoid the most pesticide-laden produce.

Many popular produce items remain on the Dirty Dozen list, including strawberries, grapes, apples, and tomatoes. [ https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/dirty-dozen.php] These popular foods are often given to children on a daily basis so, if not purchased organically, you could introduce considerable pesticide toxicity to children’s developing bodies and brains. We recommend that EVERYONE choose organic whenever possible, and especially if any of the items on the dirty list are foods consumed frequently or daily.

It’s interesting to note that broccoli and eggplant have both fallen off of the Clean 15 list this past year, suggesting that there may have been an increase in pesticide use with these two foods. Although, it could also be a result of less pesticide used on new foods added to the Clean 15, namely sweet potatoes. It’s worth considering purchasing broccoli and eggplant as organic where possible.  For more details regarding the evaluation process, visit EWG.org.

You should also consider other benefits of organic produce. Organic farming is much more likely to ensure that soil is nutrient rich and ensures that seeds are not genetically modified. As a result, organic offers greater nutritional values such as greater amounts of Vitamin C, Magnesium, Calcium, Potassium, and other essential vitamins and minerals without man’s manipulation of seed genetics, than traditionally raised produce.

We recommend using EWG.org as a resource as well as encourage supporting this consumer oriented resource for promoting quality food and water for good health. You will find many valuable resources on their webpage including information for clean sources of food, water, baby food, personal care products, and more.

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