In its latest dietary guidelines the U.S. Department of Agriculture says, “Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.” At the same time Environmental Working Group publishes a list of 12 most pesticide-laden produce, topping the “Dirty Dozen” for 2012 are apples, celery and sweet bell peppers.
Is it safe?
Even though the amounts of pesticides are within established legal limits, the question remains – does it mean they are safe ? Analysts with the Environmental Working Group, who compiled the list, say they’re too high.
Sara Sciammacco, of the Environmental Working Group, said, citing recent studies linking childhood pesticide exposure to problems with brain development, lower IQ and increasing incidence of ADHD.
There are some other opinions on the subject : ” A person would need to eat so much of the produce on the Dirty Dozen list you can’t even imagine,” said Dr. Marion Nestle, author and professor of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University.
Still, for those trying to limit their exposure to pesticides, I suggest choosing organic produce whenever possible.
Dirty Dozen Plus
This year the Dirty Dozen was expended with a Plus category to highlight two crops — green beans and leafy greens. Kale and collard greens did not meet traditional Dirty Dozen criteria but were commonly contaminated with highly toxic organophosphate insecticides. These insecticides are toxic to the nervous system and have been largely removed from agriculture over the past decade. But they are not banned and still show up on some food crops.
Commodity crop corn used for animal feed and biofuels is almost all produced with genetically modified | GMO seeds. Unfortunately so is some sweet corn sold for human consumption. GMO sweet corn is not labeled in US stores, so if you have concerns about GMO – buy organic sweet corn