October 5 – Strategy 5 – When to buy organic?
The Clean 15 and the Dirty Dozen
How can you know which fruits and vegetables are ok to buy without the added cost of purchasing organic? Every year the Environmental Working Group publishes the Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 Lists. These publications rate foods according to which have the highest and lowest pesticide residue to help shoppers determine which foods to buy organic and which are okay to buy conventional. Although ideally every shopper should be able to purchase organic fruits and vegetables, the reality is that organic often costs more. By heeding the EWG’s 2012 Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 Lists, health-concerned shoppers can still get the most for their money and minimize their pesticide exposure.
Lists change slightly from year to year, so it’s important to recheck each year, and more importantly, take a copy of it with you to the grocery store! Why are pesticides particularly harmful for hormone dependent cancers? Many pesticides cause estrogenic effects or effects that mimic estrogen in the body. The majority of breast cancers are fueled by estrogen so any added estrogen to our diets should be avoided.
Research has established a strong link between estrogen activity induced by organochlorine pesticides (containing chlorine), and the risk of developing breast cancer. The results are significant. Patients with very high estrogen levels due to pesticide residues run four times more risk of developing the disease than patients with undetectable or very low levels. So far, 568 chemical products have been
identified that affect our hormones.
Dirty Dozen Plus™
These items are listed in worst to least in terms of
3 Sweet bell peppers
6 Nectarines – imported
11 Blueberries – domestic
Plus Green beans, Kale/Greens
Clean 15™ Lowest in Pesticide
2 Sweet Corn
6 Sweet peas
11 Cantaloupe -
12 Sweet potatoes
© 2012, Environmental Working Group, All Rights Reserved.
So today’s tip is buy organic…if you can’t always do so, buy organic for the dirty dozen and conventional for the clean fifteen. When I buy conventional, I soak the fruits or vegetables in a sink full of water to which I add a cup of apple cider vinegar and soak them for five minutes. This is a natural way to help remove
pesticides. Always rinse thoroughly afterwards.
Reminder: go to www.sisters4prevention.com throughout the month of October for a complete list of all tips as we progress. For true prevention…support the Pink Vaccine, the first preventive breast cancer vaccine. For more information visit:
www.thepinkvaccine.com. Get on the train for prevention…join the thousands that are donating to the vaccine fund. We are getting close, you can make
Watch the Cleveland Clinic’s video explaining the vaccine: