Many years ago, I was introduced to the work of the Environmental Working Group. Their mission is “to empower people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment.”1 They have been a tremendous resource for me and provide a lot of information and databases that I rely on.
The Dirty Dozen list was their first resource I learned about. Every year EWG compiles results from testing that is primarily performed by the USDA. They use this data to provide an easy to use list for consumers to see which conventionally grown produce items contain the highest amounts of tested pesticide residues.
They also publish a list called The Clean Fifteen to showcase which produce options contain the least pesticide residues. The Dirty Dozen and The Clean Fifteen guides are short lists that are available for download in pocket sized forms on their website.
If you are just starting to improve what you eat and/or have a limited budget, purchasing organic only from The Dirty Dozen list is a great start. Avoiding anything else that’s not on The Clean Fifteen list will also help you limit your exposure to pesticides from the fruits and vegetables you buy.
Your liver, gallbladder, kidneys, bladder, lungs and large intestine have to work hard to process and eliminate toxins from your body. We are exposed to more toxins today than at any previous time in history. It’s vital that you take control over what you can, so your detoxification pathways are able to process the toxin exposures that are out of your control, such as pollutants in the air.
Avoiding pesticides in your food also supports farmers that avoid these harmful farming methods and allows them to bring a greater volume of cleaner food to market. This increases the amount of options available to all of us.
And the more food that is produced without chemicals, the less toxins we add to the environment. Cleaner soil, water and air further support your efforts to create a healthy lifestyle that makes you feel great and able to live an amazing life!
1 January 2020, https://www.ewg.org/about-us
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