Avoiding the Dirty Dozen


Container Garden 2013

I finally got my container garden in this past week! It did get down into the high 30s on Sunday morning, but I’m hoping we’re done with the threat of frost.

This will be the biggest garden I’ve ever tried with 4 different types of tomatoes, 4 varieties of peppers, cucumbers and cilantro (which was a huge fail last year).

I container garden due to the very rocky terrain and the difficulty in keeping gardens out of the paws of critters.

We might just have to rename The Party Deck to The Plant Deck.

I’ll be glad to not have to buy some of these things when my plants start producing. I’m growing everything organic, which can get expensive at the store.

When I paid a visit to the doctor last week, we talked about our new healthier lifestyle and how it was going. We got on the subject of soda and diet soda and how bad they are for us. I told him we try to drink green tea, and he asked me if it was organic. I told him Dale had shopped for the tea and brought home conventional.

Tea, evidently, is one of the big no-nos to buy conventional (who knew?) as it has tested high in pesticide residue. Tea is not listed among the Dirty Dozen, but I trust my doctor, so we purchased organic green tea this week. It did get me to wondering again about the “Dirty Dozen,” so called by the Environmental Working Group for the foods that have tested the highest in pesticide residue.

Because of the cost of organic, if I can get away with not buying organic avocados and bananas, I will (they rank #48 and #35 respectively on the list of having lesser pesticide residue).

I read this list a while back, but had also read somewhere that if you can peel it, the food should be ok. Generally true, but not for potatoes, which I’ve been buying conventionally grown (#10 on the list, oops).

Here is the Dirty Dozen. For a list of all 48 tested foods, go to the link for EWG above:

  1. Apples
  2. Strawberries
  3. Grapes
  4. Celery
  5. Peaches
  6. Spinach
  7. Sweet Bell Peppers
  8. Nectarines
  9. Cucumbers
  10. Potatoes
  11. Cherry Tomatoes
  12. Hot Peppers

Keep in mind that this list tested for pesticide residue only and didn’t take into consideration genetically modified foods (GMOs). While corn is not on this list, we always buy organic to avoid buying a GMO, as up to 80 percent of all corn produced now is genetically modified.

Other foods they recommend you purchase organic are meat and dairy products. If meat and dairy are not marked organic, the animals could have been fed GMOs or been given hormones and antibiotics.

I bought 9 of the items on this list this past week and all but the potatoes were organic.

What’s your score?  


You may also like...

10 Responses

  1. Jane Boursaw says:

    We do buy almost entire organic when it comes to, well, everything. Thank goodness for our local co-op. Also planting some things in the garden.

  2. What a big revelation. I practically live on green and white tea, so I definitely need to look into this. Also, curious as to why potatoes are an exception to the “peelable” rule?

    • Kerri says:

      I don’t know, Vera, maybe because they soak in the pesticides and leave more residue on the inside? That’s the only thing I can think of.

  3. Sheryl says:

    I try to buy organic when I can, especially those at the top of the list.

  4. Alexandra says:

    I am especially careful to ONLY buy organic celery. Not, pineapple seems okay non organic. Many people feel they cannot afford to buy organic but how can you afford not to? Isn’t it crazy that Big Ag has contrived to deprive most of the citizens of the USA of food that is healthy for us?

  5. I try to buy all produce organic when possible. It’s challenging because it isn’t always an option. We join a CSA every summer where everything is organic, so that helps, but organic fruit can still be hard to come by. I didn’t know this about tea – had never even considered it. One more thing to deal with I guess. Thanks for the tips!

    • Kerri says:

      Brette, You should have Trader Joe’s or a locally owned health food store around in your area. We have a great locally owned one that sells even organic pineapple and such. Pineapple are the latest fruit Monsanto is turning into Frankenfood, so beware.