If you’re still on the fence about transitioning to an organic lifestyle, you can still make immediate changes to benefit your health. Eating certain fruits and vegetables increases your pesticide exposure. Certain produce items receive more pesticide treatment than others causing them to have higher levels of pesticide residues. Others are thin skinned and absorb more of the chemicals.
The Environmental Working Group offers an annual list of produce, The Dirty Dozen, which should be eaten as organics, to reduce pesticide exposure up to 80 percent. Some favorites including celery, strawberries, and potatoes are among The Dirty Dozen. EWG offers a second list of produce, The Clean Fifteen; it includes produce which when tested showed little to no pesticide residue. A few of the Clean Fifteen are avocados, cantaloupe, and onions. If budgeting for organics poses a challenge, these two lists can help you make choices that are more healthful and remain within budget.
- Make sure to thoroughly wash your fruits and vegetables with cold running water before eating. This removes some residual pesticides;
- Buy locally grown fruits and vegetables;
- Buy fruits and vegetables in season;
- Keep a garden at home;
- Don't wear shoes in your home; leave them at the door.