I know I spend a lot of time telling you fruits and vegetables are good for you, but there's something you should know: A lot of your favorites are really, really dirty.
Before I continue, let's clear something up. I'm not talking about actual dirt -- that actually wouldn't be that bad! -- I'm talking about pesticides.
1. Strawberries 2. Apples 3. Nectarines 4. Peaches 5. Celery 6. Grapes 7. Cherries 8. Spinach 9. Tomatoes 10. Sweet bell peppers 11. Cherry tomatoes 12. Cucumbers
I don't know about you, but I'm a little bit depressed right now. I regularly eat all 12 of the items listed in the Dirty Dozen, and I don't want to give them up. And in case you haven't heard, pesticides are awful. They've been linked with cancer, hormone problems and other health issues.
But, before you resign yourself to a life of meat, cheese and sugar (don't do it!), some of your favorite fruits and veggies may have made the Clean Fifteen list, so check it out.
1. Avocados 2. Sweet corn 3. Pineapples 4. Cabbage 5. Sweet peas (frozen) 6. Onions 7. Asparagus 8. Mangos 9. Papayas 10. Kiwi 11. Eggplant 12. Honeydew 13. Grapefruit 14. Cantaloupe 15. Cauliflower
Feeling better yet? Good.
Let's take a moment to discuss the Dirty Dozen a little further. Specifically, let's talk about strawberries.
While growers used a whopping 60 different types of pesticides on strawberries, only 7 percent of strawberries examined had pesticide residues at an illegal level, meaning they're pretty safe as far as pesticides are concerned.
Still, pesticides are pesticides, and it would be great if we all could avoid them altogether. So, it may be worth it to shell out a few extra bucks and go organic when it comes to the Dirty Dozen, especially because, come on, who wants to give up strawberries?
Strawberries are delicious. They're also full of antioxidants, fiber and vitamins. Parting with them is a very sad idea.
Here's to a lot more organic shopping.
Citations: Strawberries Top the List of Dirtiest Fruit (Cosmopolitan), EWG's 2016 Dirty Dozen™ List Of Pesticides On Produce: Strawberries Most Contaminated, Apples Drop To Second (EWG), Pesticides + Poison Gases = Cheap, Year-Round Strawberries (EWG), CLEAN FIFTEEEN (EWG), DIRTY DOZEN (EWG), What's New and Beneficial About Strawberries (The World's Healthiest Foods)