The Dirty Dozen (Plus Clean Fifteen) Infographic
When it comes to buying produce, I often shy away from organic because these items are expensive (it can be twice as expensive) and add a lot to my credit card bill every month. But after reading the article about the dirty dozen from the Huffington post and Health Trekker, it somehow changed my views because of the risks pesticides causes to our health.
So I did some research and came up with this infographic to guide you when to go organic or conventional. Also I have bonus tips at the end of the infographic on where you can buy affordable organic produce in your area and much more, so make sure to scroll all the way down.
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There is a lot of debate about the negative effects of pesticide, critics of the dirty dozen say that these effects are minimal and should not be taken too seriously but as I dug deeper in my research I found some startling facts that should not be ignored, particularly if you’re an expecting mother.
Over a billion pounds of pesticide is used every year in the United States along and most of these have one common ingredient – organophosphates. According to an article by Dr. Mercola, exposure to this chemical has been linked to diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, even with minimal exposure because it all adds up.
Direct exposure to organophosphates has a terrible effect on pregnant women and their unborn babies. In a CHAMACOS study done, they followed pregnant women who live in Salinas Valley – a large agricultural land where half a million pounds of organophosphates sprayed every year. They found out that women experienced shorter pregnancies and their children suffered poor neonatal reflexes, lower IQ, shorter attention spans and poor cognitive function.
Pesticides are also known to be carcinogenic which can lead to diseases like cancer. Ever wonder why more and more people suffer from cancer every year? It’s because of the environment we live in – we are bombarded with pesticides from the air we breathe to the food we eat, if we can minimize our exposure to these chemicals, the better our chances of avoiding cancer.
The dirty dozen list helps us by ranking the foods with the most and least amount of pesticide residue on it. This serves as a guide for us shoppers on which foods to buy organic and which ones we can get away with buying conventional.
If you think buying organic is expensive, I’ve listed 5 tips on the infographic that’ll help you find affordable organic produce. By the way, if you’re looking for more tips head over to Foodbabe’s site where she has a monster list of 75 ways on how to go organic on a budget. Another great resource on money saving shopping tips is Bankrate where they list down 17 tips on buying organic on the cheap.
If you’re into eating raw foods or juicing you’d have to be more careful because pesticides with go into your system at full strength in the absence of heat from cooking. As always, right produce selection is paramount and don’t forget wash it well even if it’s organic.
Spreading the word!
Finally, please spread the word about the dirty dozen and clean fifteen so more people are educated when it comes to knowing which produce has most pesticide content so that they can make an informed decision whether to go organic or not.
For more information about this, check out these sources: