Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Dirty Dozen

Have you guys ever heard of the food-related "dirty dozen?"  I hadn't, until they mentioned it on the Today Show yesterday morning.  It's basically a list of the 12 produce items that have the most/strongest pesticides, making it pretty difficult (if not impossible) to remove through washing.

Here's the link that has more detailed info about what pesticides/how many (seriously, some have 60+ different ones) are actually on the food.  The list is as follows:

1. Celery
2. Peaches
3. Strawberries
4. Apples
5. Blueberries
6. Nectarines
7. Bell peppers
8. Spinach
9. Kale
10. Cherries
11. Potatoes
12. Grapes

On the show, a viewer wrote in and said, "I can't always afford to buy organic food.  But I'm aware of the 'dirty dozen.'  Is it better not to eat the 12 foods on the list at all if I can't buy them organic?"

The woman responding, Joy Bauer, said no.  She said that the benefits of eating fruits and vegetables far outweigh the negative aspects of the chemicals.

But really...I'm not entirely convinced.  One, Joy Bauer is a little annoying, and two, she's a dietitian concerned mainly with weight loss.  So I'm sure from her perspective, eating fruit & veg is the #1 most important thing you can do for your body.  Also, she probably doesn't want "don't eat vegetables & fruit" to come out of her mouth in any form on national tv.

But I sort of believe that we don't necessarily know if not eating the food is better than eating the non-organic version of it.  Unfortunately, since mega-corporation Monsanto basically runs farming in our country, I don't think enough studies have been done to make a definitive claim one way or the other.  I do know that many other countries have stricter regulations regarding food-safety practices.

What do you guys think?  Do you worry about at all about organic vs. non-organic?

(Also, if you're interested, there's a list of the 12 foods least contaminated.  Those are as follows: onions, avocado, sweet corn [frozen], pineapples, mangoes, asparagus, sweet peas [frozen], kiwi fruit, bananas, cabbage, broccoli, and papaya.  I'm a little surprised to see things like cabbage and asparagus on there, since I always understood that the thicker the skin on something [and/or if you actually eat the skin while consuming it] makes a big difference.)


Sarah said...

I'm troubled by this as I buy celery, apples, blueberries, bell peppers, and spinach every week and rarely buy organic unless it's on sale. My grocery bill is already quite expensive for a single girl, so I doubt I will make the change anytime soon.

Claire said...

Mm, I don't sweat it too much when buying veg. I try to buy organic, but not always, for money reasons or convenience. I do, however, insist on buying organic meat and avoiding fish not raised in "environmentally friendly" conditions (on rare occasions I cook meat for myself).