The Environmental Working Group is a non-profit organization that publishes an annual list detailing what they call the Dirty Dozen, or a variety of fruits and vegetables that are most polluted with pesticides. The EWG sets out to protect the most vulnerable segment of our population, namely children, and also looks to replace governmental guidelines with regards to the environment and our sustainable development.
All that being said, this year’s Dirty Dozen list includes fruits and vegetables you might normally consider somewhat safe such as potatoes and celery. The top offenders includes apples, peaches and strawberries.
So how do you protect yourself from these toxins that can affect your long term health? These are all items that are offered organically or locally sourced where you know organic practices are in place. The EWG also states that “the insecticides are toxic to the nervous system and have been largely removed from agriculture over the past decade. But they are not banned and still show up on some food crops”.
Frightening to say the least.
You remember all that talk about locally sourced vegetables that restaurants use as a tag line when describing their cuisine? It almost seems trite to hear a chef mention the words “locally sourced”. This is one reason it is so important.
The EWG also publishes a list of fruits and vegetables that are low in toxins such as onions, asparagus and mushrooms. These items are not as important to but organic. Sweet corn also makes the good list, but then we have the whole GMO concern which can be eliminated by purchasing organically.
Many grocers do support local farms; you merely need to ask the right questions. Buying into a CSA can alleviate many of these concerns and also supports your local economy. This summer we will identify and feature some working CSA’s in the DFW area that use organic methods and work well for our community.