ost of us know that going organic is better for the environment and good for our health. Organic alternatives are available for everything from meat and dairy products to skin care. But with the overwhelming array of choices confronting us on the supermarket shelves, organic is often put in the too-hard basket instead of our shopping basket.
Enter the Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen. These lists of the “clean” and “dirty” fruit and veg have been made by the Environmental Working Group, a US health and environmental research organisation. Its analysis of these foods found that by using the lists as a guideline, consumers could potentially reduce pesticide exposure by almost 90 per cent.
NASTIES OR NICE?
Fruit and veg on the Clean 15 list require minimal intervention in order to flourish, and in their non-organic form contain the least amount of nasties. These foods are: asparagus, avocado, cabbage, rockmelon, kiwifruit, eggplant, mushroom, grapefruit, onion, mango, peas, watermelon, sweet potato, corn and pineapple.
The Dirty Dozen list, however, is made up of fruit and veg that are often laden with pesticides and other chemicals. These are apples, capsicum, blueberries, celery, grapes, cucumber, lettuce, nectarines, peaches, potatoes, strawberries and spinach.
Naturopath Holly George says the Dirty Dozen should be at the top of everyone’s list when it comes to converting to organic. “Most of these foods are generally consumed with the skin on, so even peeling them or a good wash may not remove all the residual nasties,” she says.