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Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 - Which produce contains the most pesticides

Insecticides, herbicides and fungicides, collectively known as pesticides, are chemicals that are used in agricultural pest control.

Our industrial agricultural system relies heavily on pesticides, which control weeds, kill insects and stave off fungi. More than 1.1 billion pounds of pesticides are applied annually to crops in the US, mostly in combination with seeds that are genetically engineered to withstand these chemicals.

Over the last 30 years, the use of pesticides has escalated to such a point that is has become a public health hazard, an environmental disaster and has caused the evolution of “superweeds,”. These in turn require increasingly toxic pesticide formulas to kill. Pesticides not only contaminate our foods but deplete it of its nutritional value.

The focus to buy organic produce is continuously growing and for good reason. When purchasing organic, we stand against the multibillion dollar pesticide industry that is destroying our health and our planet. We can also rest assured that organically grown crops are free from GMOs and prohibit the use of hundreds of chemical additives, preservatives, colorings, and synthetic herbicides like Monsanto’s Roundup (The worst of them all, linked to multiple, severe health issues).

The problem with buying organic is that it can get expensive and can take a toll on your bank account. Luckily for us, every year the EWG (Environmental Working Group) provides us with a list of the 12 ‘dirtiest’ foods that have been found to be the most contaminated (and therefore we should consider purchasing these as organic) and a list of the 15 ‘cleanest’ foods that were found to have the least contaminants, meaning we can get away with purchasing regular and not organic.

This helps cut the cost slightly and informs us on which foods to look out for. Thank you EWG! You can check out their website at for a wealth of information regarding many areas of health and wellness. This really is a great resource for anybody looking to learn more about improving your health and helping the environment.

Here are 2020’s Dirty Dozen and Clean 15.

Vitamin G Wellness Blog - A division of Unlimited You

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