Every year we get an update on The Dirty Dozen Food Group. This is a report about the 12 foods that contain the highest levels of pesticides among the non-organic foods being sold to you. The Environmental Working Group compiles this report each year using research conducted by the USDA. The sad part is that the USDA knows all about the 230 different pesticides being used on our foods and the effects they can have on our health but they are allowed to be used. Some of these pesticides have been banned in Europe and other countries but not in the USA. Today we will cover the Dirty Dozen. Later in the week we will review the Clean 15 which is the other part of the report. So Let’s get started.
Repeating this year in the Number 1 spot is Strawberries. Containing 10 or more pesticides in a third of those tested, the EWP reports that one test contained 22 different pesticides.You can not wash the pesticides off of strawberries. Many of the keto recipes available online contain strawberries because carb wise they are considered to be one of the best fruit choices. If you really enjoy strawberries buy organic (much smaller) or grow your own in a planter. I always suggest a planter because planted in the garden, much like mint, they will take over the garden and become very hard to get rid of.
Claiming the #2 Spot is Spinach. Another of our favorites, often served in those Keto type salads we eat when we are out to dinner so that we don’t overdue it with the carbs. Of the Spinach tested they found a high concentration of the neurotoxic insecticide permethrin. I don’t want that in my salads, my omelettes or my smoothies so it will be organic spinach for me.
In 3rd Place are Nectarines. While you don’t see them listed on the ketogenic diet it is wise to know so that you aren’t serving these to your family when there are better choices available. Of those tested 94% had 2 or more pesticides.
Number 4 – Apples. I grew up in apple, prune and grape country so apples were always a fruit I kept around the house. Working after school picking apples to earn a little money I never thought that one day they would be on the dirty dozen list, and so high up on the list. The real scary thing is that while 90 percent had pesticide residues 80% showed positive for diphenylamine, a pesticide that is banned in Europe.
Number 5 are Grapes – I am sure that will include wine if I dig deep enough. That means I need to look for a wine made with organic grapes. I am sure it is available but I might just need to stay with the mineral water/lime drink that I enjoy or maybe iced keto coffee. The report states that grapes contain on average 5 pesticides. They were a favorite after school snack when I was growing up. Now that I follow a ketogenic lifestyle they are no longer on my list of foods to enjoy. I do like a glass of red wine now and then so I will need to look into the organic wines.
Number 6 is Peaches. I do not feel that there is a better tasting fruit than a fresh peach. I have a recipe for a fat bomb that includes a tiny bit of fresh peach. I am sure I won’t find any organic peaches here in Mexico so that recipe will need to wait until I am in the states on vacation. According to the report, 99% of the peaches tested contained pesticide residue.
Number 7 goes to Cherries – always a very nice snack for the family they are no longer a part of my ketogenic lifestyle but might appear in recipes for fat bombs so if you are going to use them, go organic if they are on the market. 30% tested positive for iprodione, which may cause cancer and is banned in Europe. That’s enough for me to avoid them completely until I can grow my own cherry tree.
Number 8 this year is Pears. One of my wife’s favorite fruits, more than half of the pears tested contained insecticides and fungicides with an average of 5 pesticides on them.
Number 9 belongs to Tomatoes. Commericial tomatoes tested contained on average 4 pesticides. Actually you are better buying vine fresh tomatoes at you local farmers market where you can talk to the farmer about pestcides and if he uses them. The store bought tomatoes are pretty much for color because they are really lacking in flavor.
Number 10 is Celery. 95% of commercial celery contain pesticides. Actually celery is super easy to grow and that is goof because one of my keto snacks is celery sticks with home made, sugar free peanut butter. I also share a lot of recipe that use celery such as tuna, salmon and chicken salads.
Number 11 Potatoes. I am pretty happy that the keto diet replaces potatoes with cauliflower because by weight potatoes contain more pesticides than any item on the list.
Number 12 Sweet Bell Peppers. We eat a lot of peppers in our house which we get at a local farmers market. 90% of Commercial sweet bell peppers, while they may look beautiful can contain toxic pesticides that are harmful to human health.
And This Year They Added # 13 Hot Peppers. I live in Mexico where hot peppers are offered at every meal in one form of another. In the states, Mexican restaurants are a favorite dinning spot for many. This year hot peppers were added to the list because commercially grown hot peppers can contain traces of highly toxic pesticides.
As we can see there is a lot to consider about our food choices even when we eat a Whole Foods diet and when following a ketogenic lifestyle. One thing you might like to try is to raise some of these foods yourself. Tomatoes, celery, peppers both hot and sweet, spinach and even strawberries all grow nicely in pots if you lack room to plant a garden. Another option is to become friends with the farmers at your local farmers markets and/or join a whole foods coop.
In Milwaukee, Wisconsin I have a lifetime membership in The Outpost, a coop that carries organic produce all year. Although I live in Mexico we do travel to that area annually and when there I want to be sure I can get the foods we enjoy. Look around your area and you might find a coop that fits your needs.
And don’t feel too discouraged, the The Environmental Working Group also compiles a list called “The Clean 15” and I will be sharing that information with you later in the week. A couple of foods that made that list are cauliflower and sweet corn and there are 13 others that I am sure you will be happy to see on the list.
I invite you to join our Facebook Group where we can exchange ideas and answer questions about the keto and paleo foods and recipes. Just click HERE to join our family of Whole Food Low-Carb keto/paleo Enthusiasts on Facebook..
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