TOUCHED BY LYME: The dirty dozen and the clean 15
Like many people dealing with Lyme disease, my family tries to choose organic produce whenever possible. There’s plenty of research to show that pesticides are harmful to human health, even for people who aren’t fighting chronic illness. And for those who are sick, adding the toxic burden of pesticides makes getting well that much harder.
But organic food can be pricy and isn’t always available. So what’s the best way to bridge the gap between the ideal (everything we eat would be organic) and reality (we eat what’s at hand)?
Help is on the way, from an organization called the Environmental Working Group. These folks tested 47 different non-organically grown fruits and vegetables for levels of pesticides, and developed what they call the “Dirty Dozen” (the 12 foods most contaminated by pesticides) and the “Clean 15” (foods least likely to pack a pesticide punch.)
Here are the Dirty Dozen:
Peach, apple, bell pepper, celery, nectarine, strawberry, cherry, kale, lettuces, imported grapes, carrot and pear. (These should be the priority for buying organic.)
Here are the Clean Fifteen:
Onion, avocado, sweet corn, pineapple, mango, asparagus, sweet pea, kiwi, cabbage, eggplant, papaya, watermelon, broccoli, tomato and sweet potato. (It’s less important for these to be organic.)
According to the EWG, people can lower their exposure to pesticides by 80 per cent simply by avoiding the dirty dozen. More information at their website.